It was grits and shrimp and a roux, accompanied by the sound of the violin wafting up from the square. The humidity hung its arms around me as I was lulled back in time. This place where present and past were one in the same, where nothing is forgotten and everything lives in a symbiotic harmony where pain and pleasure mixes together to form pure joy. Or maybe that was just the influence of the half naked dominatrix that just walked by in the cat mask and whip right in front of St. Louis Cathedral…..and no one batted an eye.
I guess that’s why I love this city so much, it’s duplicity in motion.
I had just come from a boutique where I made fast friends with the punkish 40 year old owner. She had a great glitter eye shadow and she was bold enough to rock it out.
“Are you from here?” I inquired.
“I sure am Baby, I love this city. I’m a New Orleans Girl.”
She had me at I’m a New Orleans Girl.
This Cincy Girl wanna be NOLA girl had to know.
“So what makes a New Orleans Girl?”
“Well Baby, when this city breaks your heart you never give up on her. And If you break her heart, she never gives up on you. That’s what makes a New Orleans Girl, you never give up on loving her. You never give up on the city you love.”
It was like God smacking me in the face.
That is why this city has lasted so long, and why it’s people are enchanting and why you never want to leave….New Orleans understands that heartbreak is a part of life, it’s a part of love. But it never gives up. It says, you may break my heart, but I will never stop loving you. This is the magic of New Orleans, the magic that we can manifest in our own love stories.
And that’s also when I knew….I was a NOLA girl too…I never could give up on love even all seemed lost, even when it broke my heart. I was a lady of the crescent city, we didn’t give up when our hearts were broken or we broke the hearts of those we loved, we tried again, and again, and again….this is what makes New Orleans an ancient and eternal city at peace with itself, and why it’s able to lull it’s visitors into ease. Because you know here…heartbreak…isn’t the end….
It’s just the beginning of your lifelong love affair with a wild beautiful soulful town that will enchant you, frustrate you, and inspire the kind of passion you find in books.