And the roaches flood the streets. Bayou breeze hangs heavy with stink and swamp and God and heat. It's the end of the world and life goes on in muggy, buggy Louisiana. The golden green marsh glows purple as ever while sweet poor girls with sweet poor accents grant hellos and how ya'lls and who dats. Cicadas still fly and cars drive on by while the evangelists feast off fears with their judgement day banners crossing the sky. I've walked past billboards and lunatics and apathy for months, from the coast to the west to the texan sun. Everywhere I go they're shouting for the end, praying for death, longing for their bible to be right, but its all in their head. If only this all mighty wrath they preach would just swoop down and take them instead.
The witching hour passed twelve ago with twelve more to go until the world explodes in fundamental glow and I think we are ending every second, beginning the next, apocalypse after apocalypse from gritty swamps to metropolis. I think the world did end today and yesterday and tomorrow, and for some small towns the spillways minor diversion brings slow filling sorrow. Just like that, a millennium in a flash, gone are the homes in Butte la Rose in stinking swamp ash. Sometimes thats just how it goes, there's always a catch. The wildlife scatters for cover with twenty foot snakes that patter on over, hidden in dense reserves. How little we know, how much we have heard. There's police in streams and military hummers blasting at dollar stores while the news keeps flood flashing, feeding us more and more and more. What a sad story that devastation sells from station to station, across our great nation we tune in for ruin, addicted to the suffering of those around. As hard as it is to watch this all go down, the generosity of spirit in the dirty south is ever humble, welcoming and profound.
I close my eyes and climb through the darkness inside, I search the universe right within my lids and find stars and planets and love. I open them up, I breathe them in. I breathe in the southern air, taste the gulf in my sinus while wildlife banters everywhere. The animals don't seem very scared. It's dirty down here but not one soul I've met has that fear, the oncoming imminent end pressing against their gut. Most don't have much, but, they share their manners and smiles and such. Truck stop diners with food out of this world, its greasy and gritty and served by the sweetest bayou girls. They call me sugar, honey, baby and love and bring more forks or hot sauce or whatever I can think of. The homeless on the streets of Baton Rouge, thats Red Stick to you, say hello and how do you do.
After almost four months on the road I'm discovering the most beautiful part of people is their crazy, and when you can find your own, find an others, the universe opens up into waves of knowing. I step outside and I don't know what's next, I watch people fall and starve and beat themselves perplexed. I don't know the color of the car around the bend or if today is the beginning, the middle or the end. But I know who I love and how and where, I've seen them before we ever even got there. I Take time as a loop and death the inside and we're all whizzing patterns across space and time. If this is the end then it's already done, evil triumphed and the good guys won. The earth shattered and the universe stopped, tides crashing wound back the clocks. There were guns and bombs and frogs and fires, brimstone burning with hateful desire. Horsemen and Jesus and anti gravity space fights with swords of great beaming light. It was an epic clash of biblical fate with every religions future on the plate. It happened, we evaporated and all was lost, souls sold to devils to pay their cost. Then the universe colided and light arose, connecting each galaxy with gaseous glows. Water and fire and earth erupt and life swarmed inward outward and up!
Or not. Or the world is as it was, as it has always been, constant, churning, alive and much much older than you or I....
It's a short trek from the texas border and what a difference a new climate makes as it wet bakes my skin and shakes me from sleep again and again. But that uneasy shake is gone in me and who's to say this is life or death or heaven or hell, this earth we roam the only reality? Words are words and we label to box, pack em tight in our brain, work our jobs and pretend were sane. But we are human and sanity is a contradiction. Business the reality.
Day after rapture and all is still, heavy, the same. Casual ongoings of this ridiculous race remains. I'm walking in to New Orleans past the airport on skyline highway with jumbo jets screaming over my head deafening the oncoming traffic coming my way. I'm thinking of all the times I've landed here before, escaping without a thought. I'm thinking I can't wait to get to Bourbon Street, get a Hand Grenade from Tropical Isle and head over to The Funky Pirate to hear Big Al Carson sing. Im thinking I should stop thinking, keep walking and get here safe before I get ahead of myself...I've always suspected I would be in New Orleans for the end of the world and I couldn't think of a better place to vacation the post apocalypse.