Monday, December 15, 2008

Voices

I am very blessed in that my very good friend Joe has hooked me up with a friend who rents me his guest suite in the French Quarter, when I need to get my New Orleans on. The home is directly on Bourbon Street, just a few blocks from Esplanade Avenue, in a residential area. The guest suite is immediately behind the walk-up.

As a general rule, it's quiet. And yet it's also the sort of place where pedestrians have gotten just far enough away from the crowd to begin speaking about things of a very personal nature.

From my vantage point - comfortably ensconced in the four-poster bed, locked behind both the front door and the hurricane shutter - I can hear everything as if they're in the room with me. And over the past 2 years, I've heard quite a bit. Much of it is private; often its intimate. It embarrasses me, humors me, frightens me, and sometimes repulses me. And yet I'm oddly drawn to it because while it's akin to spying, it's not purposeful and the lacking element most spies rely upon - the visual - is missing. It's eerily inspirational from the perspective of a writer, and maybe how a blind person perceives a verbal exchange. With no other communicative reference (i.e. non-verbal feedback, physical perception of subjects, etc.) beyond the words, it's surprising what you tend to hear and retain.

Initially I was going to share some tidbits from the weekend because I found them comical, but the context here isn't appropriate. I think to fully appreciate it you have to hear the associated tones and inflection in the voices. However, I will say if one day you read a story I've written, and it happens to have elements of meth addicts eschewing their partners physical advances, or gay guys talking about their fathers' credit cards, or criminals threatening to kill each other by cutting off their legs, or ravers tripping on acid, you'll know its genesis.

Here's a pic of me with my dear friend Allie from the weekend.

1 comment:

allie said...

We look hott.

I haven't gotten to my NoLa experience blog yet! I'm still stuck in Hopetown.
Love you!