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viernes, mayo 23, 2008

A New Orleans Story

A now deceased, dear friend of mine lived for a long time on Royal Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans. One night in 1974 when her consciousness was altered in an unusually profound and fuzzy way, she parked her car somewhere, locked it, walked home and fell asleep. The next day she couldn't find the car. She wandered the streets near her house, still couldn't find it, wandered the streets some more and eventually, reported it stolen. She was really sad about the loss of her car. Afterwards, she walked everywhere she couldn't take public trans and always kept an eye out for the stolen car.

About four months later, she and I and another friend went out to dinner. Afterwards, we went for a walk in the neighborhood. Up toward Rampart Street, parked in a legal spot at the curb was a dirty but otherwise ordinary car that looked a lot to all of us like the stolen one. It appeared not to have been driven in some time. Was it her car? To our delight, her key opened the door and it fit in the ignition. But the battery, alas, was dead. The three of us paid strict attention to where the car was. I think my friend even wrote it down. And the next day, we came back. The car hadn't been moved. We jump started it, and she drove it home.

To this day, 34 years later, I have no idea whether the car was stolen and we recovered it, or whether she just forgot where she parked it and we found it.

New Orleans to me is like that. Maybe that's why I love it so much.

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