Friday, November 6, 2009

Spring is coming to New Orleans

Po Boy Views
Phil LaMancusa
One Sweet Dream
Sweet Olive Cocktails
Okay, as promised, here’s one for the Gipper; a sweet soul serenade, a rub down with a velvet glove/put your head on my shoulder, love of New Orleans discourse.
As we all know, The Ides of March bode Spring; it’s in the air and in my heart and it’s as fine of a time as any to be of good cheer. Spring. Good day sunshine daydream, take a walk outside and ‘scuse me while I kiss the sky. Spring. Okay, this is me being…cheerful:
The season that we know as Spring brings a very special feeling and meaning to life for people everywhere; but, Spring as poignant as it can be elsewhere, is especially special to those of us in New Orleans who find that it is a space between breaths. The space between floor furnace and air conditioner, the space between the exhale and the inhale. This Spring it’ll be the space between the old political gang and the new one (yippee flippin’ do), the space between betweens.
In other places Spring is the end of frigid winter and the prelude to the heat of Summer. In romance languages the word for Spring is Primavera (first truth). In New Orleans it is more a condition of stasis: a moving forward and a moving back, a coming into existence and quickly returning, originating from a primal source of energy descended from a world-family of lovers kissing on the street corners of time itself. Spring is the time of year that makes itself known by picking up the tab and paying ransom to the Winter, releasing almost by detonation that which was held in check and imprisoned: our Turkish bath of the Summer to come. Spring exists as a supple season, bringing forward, as a source from a pool—motivation. A time of new growth and regeneration; part of an internal clockwork orange for which there are no synonyms. Hell, it’s Spring for Christ sakes, cheer up or I’ll knock you out!
You say you’re not satisfied? You want more for your money? I’ll tell you what I’m gonna do! This particular Spring I’m throwing in not one, not two, not three, but four, count ‘em four festivals! Yes, four festivals and twenty different flowering and scented plants! I’m adding Chic Spring wardrobes that flatter and stimulate, rosy forecasts for a calm hurricane season and I will personally, yes, I said personally, guarantee that this spring you will be in love, make butt loads of money and succeed, like never before, to win friends and influence people.
Sure, I’m sure that someone out there does not have a perfect life, but who does? Your bankroll is thin and silence is your only friend because all the rest turned out to be insurance salesmen? A bowl of oatmeal tried to stare you down… and won? And it’s twelve o’clock and you realize that you’re having… no fun? (If those words are familiar, you know what to do.) Spring is when you get back in touch with your inner sense of wonder and humor; so what if your toast is cold and your orange juice is hot and you burned your fingers on the coffee pot, there are songs for situations like that. Spring is the time for beginnings, it’s nature’s own clean slate; if you don’t like the news… make some of your own. Grab a cliché and run with it! Latch on to the affirmative! Blah, blah, blah.
So you didn’t get what you wanted for Christmas. So you suspect that Valentine’s Day is going to be the swan song for your romance. So PETA says that you’ve been brushing your teeth all these years with real kitten whiskers and FEMA says that you need to send them money and your income tax is due. This is no time to hang crepe. This is Spring, and Spring hopes eternal, there’s music in the cafes at night and revolution in the air. There’s the DOW hitting ten thousand and unemployment hitting ten percent. There’s the dichotomy of truth and beauty versus the suspicion that in reality life blows goat. This is me running out of cheerful.
No, no. I am not going to go to my negative-land, where our recovery strategy is as flat as my income. It’s time to start thinking about putting up the sweaters and getting out the bathing suits and shorts. It’s time to do those extra sit-ups and get that six-pack back (as if). Time to cut back on the trans fats and lay off the high fructose corn syrup. It’s time for Spring cleaning… body and soul.
Think spring chicken on a spring break with spring fever eating a spring roll with spring onions going to a concert featuring Bruce……….(groan). Yep, sorry, this is me again, groaning about Spring.
In Spring I’m groaning about being tired of winter vegetables like turnips, potatoes and rutabagas and wishing for Summer fruit to hit the stands. I adore crawfish season, King Cakes, the first of the creole tomatoes and fresh file powder from the File Man. I live for the day when they turn on the chiller in the pool at the Omni Hotel and the critters decide to shed their winter coats all over the house.
And remember, as I was just reminded, life on this planet is not a private party. It takes two to tango, three to get ready and four to go. Try a do-si-do and an allemande and get a shot of optimism or Rhythm and Blues with just a little Rock n Roll on the side. Cheer up, I know sometimes it doesn’t feel like it but, things could be worse (it could be raining).
And if nothing else, follow the Old Philosopher’s advice and “Lift your head up high and take a walk in the sun with dignity and stick-to-it-ness and ya show the world, ya show the world where to get off. You’ll never give up, you'll never give up, you'll never give up that… ship."

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