Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jimmy on Decatur Street in New Orleans

Jimmy likes to walk. He likes to walk slowly down sidewalks speckled with cigarette butts and used condoms. While he ambulates he never lets his gaze rise much higher than the waist of any oncoming human traffic. The realization that he is a bit off was not something that he is without; in fact, a certain perverse pride bubbles within him when he thinks of just how different he is from the men in shiny oxford shoes, the boys in polychromatic Nike Air Force I's and the women in cherry red Mary Jane's.

One afternoon, on Decatur Street, just past Esplanade, a car pulled up and its door opened slowly. A few footsteps clicked and a juvenile snicker emanated from the idling car. As usual, Jimmy did not look up. A voice, languorously southern and whiskey soaked, called to him.

"Hey boy. Hey, why you and yer fambily tink yer better den evrybody else, huh?"


An old Rolling Stones song, "Sway," played on the jukebox of The Matador, the bar owned by the guy from an old TV show. Somebody asked for an Abita Amber.

"Hey boy, I'm talkin' te ya. Look at me boy! Ya'll never talk to nobody and yr poppy just stares out de winda all day. Boy, I said stop and look at me!!"

Jimmy stopped and looked at the man.

The man got back into his car quickly and sped off. Last anybody heard he was still driving 85 when he hit Bay St. Louis.

Jimmy walked to Canal Street, turned around, and walked back home to his shotgun apartment off of Elysian Fields.

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