Claude’s Journal: March 1885 – The Saints They Smile Upon This Sinner

Jackson Square

The saints they smile upon this sinner that I am for I have been given a second chance at life in this city along the delta. New Orleans, you are my mistress and my wife all rolled into one, slathered in sauce and served on a hot French baguette. I love you like the beautiful mess you are.

Never have I been so free to experience life and all its earthly pleasures. There is no judgment among your fellow man here. Not even the priests look down upon you for stumbling through the streets with a fifth of whiskey in hand. In fact, the only grief they give you is if you aren’t willing to share.

And the energy of this town! Jackson Square is bustling, as horse carriages pass by carrying wealthy women with their frilly accouterments and sazerac breath. A group of black men stand in the cobblestone streets of the Quarter and dance and holler as if never a bad time had befallen them. There is music squeezing through every crack in every wall creating an orchestra that sets the fiery tempo for this spirited place.

I do not miss home. I do not miss my father or the endless acres of cotton fields of Mississippi. Here, there is too much to gain to feel any sense of loss. I’d say, above all else, that is what I find most attractive about my new home.

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