Thursday, March 30, 2006

What a Mood, Laid Bare For You

You know you love a city when you are hearing love song lyrics meant to be from a man to a woman and you are thinking about your city. by city I mean people, structures, neighborhood vibes, everything.

I am going to lay myself out as perhaps too cheesy, but here you have a moment of my internal landscape and dialogue, illuminated by sound, smell, memory, sorrow and futility. If you now what I'm talking about, give me a sign.

I was on the corner of Simon Bolivar and Washington, in my car at a stop light. The windows were down and the temperature was a bit too warm with a breeze that cancelled out the edge. I smelled fried oysters and saw no place from where the smell wafted from and gave it up to the breeze.

My impulse was to take a picture, but I didn't see the frame, just signs stuck into the narrow, unmowed neutral ground. No one was around except a few teen-aged girls fake-tousling in a parking lot. But this song was playing and I was feeling overwrought for this city and nostalgic for a corner that used to teem with people out and about. Music blaring. Yelling. Baby noise. Moma noise. Hollas and holla backs.

This ever happened to you? A confluence of imagery, smells and music that create a mood beyond the actual environment. It's different from nostalgia because it talks about today and powerlessness, too. To me, and maybe this is trauma, this city is alive like a human. Maybe that's what drew me here to stay. This is not a ghost town, but it isn't a proper town right now, either. It's stagnant and it could rot or be glorious but why are we so stuck?