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Making Movies in New Orleans
A taste of splendor and history
The air has a humid feel as the rain begins to fall softly at first and then becoming harder. I watch the mule across the street, hang his head, lay his long ears back, and close his white-lashed eyes against the rain. He drops his tail and one hind leg rests on the tip of his hoof which the major weight of his body on the opposite leg with the hip down. He dozes in the evening rain, attached to his empty carriage, while the cars swish by on the street and his driver ducks under an awning to escape the water.
The voices in the old, old Cafe du Monde are subdued while the waits, female and male alike, mill among the few customers and watch the rain with resignation. Business will be slow on this Wednesday night with the rain and the Quarter empty after the massive crowds from New Years. I have finished two of three fresh hot beignets and sipped at the diet coke almost absently. Thoughts of cafe au lait were forgotten as the rich coffee is filled with chickory and caffeine. I want to sleep tonight.
The small handwritten journal has a few short paragraphs in it but I stop writing and close it to watch the rain and the people. The ancient bricks in the St.Ann street side of Jackson Square are glistening in the light from the street lights, tall lights, four cornered and in wrought iron. The gates to the park are closed as it is now dark but inside the bushes and trees still sparkle with holiday lights from the passing Christmas season. They may stay there until Mardi Gras has come and gone in little over a month away.
The almost Spring like temperatures of the January night have a wet chill from the rain but not cold enough to require more than a short-sleeved T-shirt. It is near time to head home. I take one last sip of the diet coke and then rise, gathering my things as I do. It is only a three block walk to where my car is parked in the parking lot but the rain has finally lessened and I can make it to the car without getting too wet since I had not brought an umbrella, but left it in the car instead.
On to the car, drive through the huge parking lot, pay my fee to get out and then down Decatur to Esplanade. The rain has stopped and the light traffic has slowed since there are trucks and vans and huge lights. Everyone drives slowly by, watching the people around the old house. They are making a movie in the rain and the street is brightly lit with their lights. They fall behind as I drive past and I am once again in the moving shadows of the aged oak trees, swaying in a misty evening wind.