I remember our time in the Big Easy

Spring rains dominated most of our days, but we didn’t care

We would venture out of the grand old house in the Garden District

Dine at five star places and humble street food carts

Music poured from every doorway

We would explore the dusty warrens of shops selling strange and mysterious objects

Browse the bright and chic boutiques on Magazine Street

Stroll the quiet of the old cemeteries and marvel at the art and history

Pay our respects to those who know all the secrets now

Everywhere the water spoke to us

In the rains, both heavy and gentle, the splash of a fountain in a hidden courtyard, the inexorable march of the great river

The whispers were our private language

And the people, they were all around, but were not of us

The locals in their Seersucker and lace, queuing into mellow brick churches, and the tourists, like bright noisy birds moving through the Quarter

We needed nothing of them

Only each other

Some days the weather kept us in

We would make soup together and eat it in front of black and white marathons of Humphrey Bogart and Vincent Price films

We would pass the hours in the fourth floor window seat, our legs entangled, making up stories to tell each other

Rock gently on the verandas in the evening, smelling the heady fragrance of night-blooming flowers and watching the moon move through the swirling wrought iron railings

It was a magical place, this Crescent City, like something in a lost dream

I remember all that was

Do you?

-Jessie Henry