Saturday, September 10, 2005

The New Orleans Blues

THE MINUTE YOU LAND IN NEW ORLEANS, something wet and dark leaps on you and starts humping you like a swamp dog in heat, and the only way to get that aspect of New Orleans off you is to eat it off. That means beignets and crayfish bisque and jambalaya, it means shrimp remoulade, pecan pie, and red beans with rice, it means elegant pompano au papillote, funky fik z’herbes, and raw oysters by the dozen, it means grillades for breakfast, a po’ boy with chowchow at bedtime, and tubs of gumbo in between. It is not unusual for a visitor to the city to gain fifteen pounds in a week—yet the alternative is a whole lot worse. If you don’t eat day and night, if you don’t constantly funnel the indigenous flavors into your bloodstream, then the mystery beast will go right on humping you, and you will feel its sordid presence rubbing against you long after you have left town. In fact, like any sex offender, it can leave permanent psychological scars...

She sipped. She studied the circle of shellfish, each ritzy blob glistening upon the lustrous floor (or ceiling) of its own intimate architecture, the solidified geometry of its desire. The oyster was an animal worthy of New Orleans, as mysterious and private and beautiful as the city itself. If one could accept that oysters built their houses out of their lives, one could imagine the same of New Orleans, whose houses were similarly and resolutely shuttered against an outside world that could never be trusted to show proper sensitivity toward the oozing delicacies within.

Tom Robbins
From Jitterbug Perfume


Edgy Mama said...

Wow. Thanks, Jim.

Jim Jenkins said...

Your welcome, Edgy Mama.