That time I witnessed the killing in New Orleans. Or what I think was a killing. I mean my mind tries to interrupt the notion despite looking into his eyes. Glassy and pinned straight to the sky; on his back still and a woman, more still than I’d assume when a partner has died. Maybe that’s how it looks, a woman in shock, drunk and in the midst of a Saint Paddy’s parade.
A young man, thrown and chained to a fence ten feet to my right as a commotion stirs in my view. You can’t so much hear anything strange, the horns, the cheers, the murmurs of a carnival crowd. But a shuffle and a wake of people escaping the center, where the assault has taken place and the undercover cops are fighting this kid to that fence.
He was dirty, his hair long and nappy, white boy dreads, but I think now just dirty. His clothes sort of fell over his gaunt body. He was lively like a puppet flailing about. And the noise of the handcuff chains, the rattling fence. Or was it wrought iron. This is New Orleans. My memory fails.
It does happen in slow motion. More to take in I guess. I learned once that when trauma occurs the thing that keeps it from leaving your mind, keeps it eating away at you forever, is the interruption. The mind is trying to piece together a linear recollection, subconsciously, and because it can’t, the mind cycles again and again around the memory until it grows from trauma to post trauma and so on.
His eyes glistened and I remember them large. I remember them larger than they were because I examine them in my minds eye in the shadows of my brain. Only until they are coaxed to the surface to I even come to see what the brain has been doing with this little piece of information. And this is maybe that attachment I have to New Orleans, that thing that keeps a warm place in my heart for the old place I spent 10 days. A long time ago.