Two days ago, the weather broke. That afternoon was hot and humid and a sudden downpour caused the temperature to plummet 30 degrees and there it's stayed ever since. This is a bit ironic since I was thinking the other day how it did not feel at all like fall. I was losing days, weeks, a season because I wasn't cold. New Orleans decided to oblige.
I think that this city functions on serendipity. The other day I tried biking from the Center Business District to the Marigny so I could settle down in a little coffee shop to write application essays. Everything was going well until I hit the bent elbow of St. Claude and became hopelessly lost for an hour. With these labyrinthine one-way streets, you can circle around your destination for hours and never find it. What's worse is that everything now is familiar to me, the landmarks and street names, but I cannot understand how they fit together. It's like a puzzle that makes a picture but the pieces are cut wrong. When I was on the verge of giving up I just happened to glance over my shoulder and see the sign I was looking for, "Who Dat Cafe."
Everyone is stuck in a malaise. My roommates, my coworkers, my friends are all suffering from a bad cold that's lasted weeks. It's as if the weather crawled under everyone's skin before finding its way into the wind.
The other day I went to another coffee shop on Magazine with my roommates, L and J. We drove down the interstate and I said, "Someone last night said that the interstate looks like a matchbox set. I think it looks more like waterslides."
"I can see that," L said.
"All New Orleans is a toy."
L looked out across the lights of the Central Business District and the illuminated crown of the Superdome. "You know, New Orleans does look beautiful at night."
I laughed. "That's like a party insult. New Orleans, you're beautiful in the dark."
"Sam, you should write that down," J said.
After we parked we walked through a residential area that looked very Midwestern. There were Halloween decorations everywhere. I forgot Halloween is coming.