Can't you show me nothing but surrender?

The ancient morality play, perfected beyond rehearsal, draws the largest crowd around the mummers wagon on a rumpled avenue: puppets and shadow characters built by our grandparents. Paintless and saging facades backstop the stage, ill lit by a gravity-challenged lamp that casts shadows of the rats that worry the wires. Down the block comes dollar-colored motley hoisting its tin crown in the black parade, and the king lays down his carnival crucification comic and calls the loser's camp with congratulations. The news dissolves the audience into waring camps, each tossing empty bottles of Abita or Olde English at one other until a shot rings out and everyone scatters. Blue lights and horses parade down the street announcing Its Over and we retreat into the bars. In the comfortable ashen darkness the Lord Mayor and the Archbishop conspire separately to tear down the cathedral to better resurrect Ranch Lawn Acres. The lucky bicker over the location of the towers they would build in their own image to ring the high ground but the bloody-handed carpenters are all babbling about the taco trucks, and the engineers are all practicing their Spanish in Austin. Beyond distraught, I blow my roll on a bottle of forgot I can't quite finish. I call for a U-boat rescue but settle for a passing White Fleet while dreaming of a long ago Rocket V-8 with a glove box spilling splibs into my lap. Potholes rock me gently to sleep.

1 comment:

Mark said...

In fairness to visitors, this only makes sense to someone living in postdeluvian New Orleans. Too many specific references. If it helps, a "U-boat" is a United Cab. White Fleet and Rocket V-8 are two other local cab companies. The rest is rather obscure unless you've lived here the last several years.