Restlessness is not foreign to me. It’s connected to anxiety. And the feeling certainly doesn’t feel “easy”.
And with that thought I’m going to head out the door for a meander. Do I take my headphones and listen to a podcast? To upbeat music? To calming music? To the news? Do I head to Tremé? To Marigny? Into the French Quarter? To the Mississippi River? Left? Right?
So I went left then right and I find myself at a cafe I’ve been to a few times, but I always grab and go. Today there was an open table by the open door and Dug could sit with me so I decided to stay. I’ve been here at times when there is a large group of unhoused people on the corner and sitting to relax in that environment isn’t really a possibility for me. Today is quiet, though I do hear a man shouting unintelligible words nearby.
So restlessness As I look around the cafe I feel a restless energy. There is a long-haired gentleman (think Neil Young), I would guess around my age, sitting near the front window. He seems to just be enjoying his coffee and observing the action. I noticed he had a camera and he not-so-surreptitiously took a picture of Dug and me while we were waiting in line. There is a couple and their pink-haired maltipoo eating breakfast at a table near me. A woman just set up her laptop at a table and is beginning her work? Or maybe she’s writing a blog about her mood of the day 😉 ? The loud shouting man just came by shouting in the café. People at the counter – an older, nicely dressed tourist couple just came in. She’s wearing jeans? In this climate? Two women at two different tables writing in journals. Me typing on my phone with Dug at my feet. Three men in a business meeting, but definitely not in business attire? “Neil Young” is still here. He’s not eating or drinking. Just looking. Some sort of a cop just came in. Plain clothes with a gun on one hip and a walkie-talkie on the other. Or is it an open carry state? Nope he has a badge on his belt. Two firemen ordering breakfast. Neil Young is now reading a banged up old paperback. Fireman just commented on Dug’s good behavior. (Proud mom moment.) Woman/writer over my right shoulder…very close to me actually, has not acknowledged me. Seems like a little “good morning” might have been appropriate when she sat down. There were other seating options with more space. Just had a little chat with the NOFD about the virtues of male dogs over female dogs. Morning caffeine seems to be the theme here…be it coffee, tea or Coke. Someone’s phone keeps ringing. Trash truck outside banging trash cans causing Dug to get nervous. Another reader enjoying his breakfast. Another writer. Another dog. Tourists. Locals. Young. Old. Human. Canine. Always changing. Always moving.
The cafe itself is a nice-looking old bar. It’s on a corner so on the long side the doors are all open for indoor-outdoor seating. Seems like a good thing, but have you ever smelled all the smells of NOLA? Trash, urine, smoke, weed, fresh paint, mold, sweat and some other smells I can’t identify. Have you heard all the hears? Trucks, shouting, ranting, music of all sorts, car horns, birds, ferry horns, train whistles, seagulls squawking, barking…(On cue as I typed “barking”, a woman walked by barking like a dog. Which is another topic for another day.)
So as I sit here thinking about my own restlessness, borderline anxiety, I think about this complicated city – itself an highly restless place. So “Big Easy”? Not so much. And yet. As all things are and as a recent post said…it’s complicated because as I’m writing this paragraph, enjoying the gentle breeze, I look up at the blue sky with puffy clouds and notice a pigeon nesting in the edge of the brick building. Nothing more natural and right than a mom nesting for her young.
I thought I was done with this post and then I decided to continue our walk to the river…
#NOLA #FrenchQuarter #MississippiRiver