House of the Rising Sun

The roads were narrow and slick with sweat. The whiskey fell from our pores and grew lost beneath the current in which we waded. The air was layered with lingering lust and the promise of magnolias. It was midday and people were dancing in the streets. It was as dangerous as it was carefree, and upon the faces were the storied smiles of hard living in the big easy.

We made our way one drink at a time. We ate too much and slept too little. The hours between the end of the day and the start of another were filled with laughter and the deep breaths that live around it.

Jazz danced with every word. He swayed. She threw her arms into the nearness of the night. You just stood there, knowing, and nodded. I sipped my whiskey and handed you the bottle every time your glass went dry.

Ours was a group of revolving cameos, each entrance a chance for applause and each exit a time for tears. We were filmed before a live studio audience. Some stayed more than others.

Everyone will tell you what we learned and how we did it. Everyone will tell you how it all went well and it all went wonderful. Everyone would be right. It was just as everyone says, but with a better beat. And the beat went on.

I miss New Orleans in that forgotten hour, when the bartender hands you one last one last one and moments get thrown back like sacks of memories slapped across your shoulder. The door swings open and a train goes by, the sun is rising and the beer is cold. The laughter as loud as ever.

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