She wanted to take Airline Highway into town and pretend she was seeing the city for the first time. Not the New Orleans of the French Quarter and Commander’s Palace and the Superdome, but of rusted railroad tracks and used furniture stores and motels with Coke machines next to the front door. Her New Orleans: An old broad whose lumps and wrinkles were magnified by the shortened breath and clogged arteries of having lived too well for too long. A slightly embarrassing relation whose graying undergarments slip out of sleeves onto soft formless arms.  So very different from Los Angeles, city of muscles and energy and perpetual youth. If L.A. was a sinewy sprinter, New Orleans was an overweight second liner, pirouetting under an umbrella in the heat. But smiling.

From Thanksgiving