Claude’s Journal: October 1884 – New Orleans or Bust

New Orleans 1880s

Can’t get a good night’s rest. Them nightmares are still haunting me. That face, that face in that fire just meltin’ away like black candle wax. How can you treat a man so viciously in both life and in death? How can you throw a body atop a pile of burning logs and just walk away as if it’s just more kindlin’ to be burned, more brush to be cleared?

But these are now memories that I keep, and I keep them to myself. Don’t show no man your cards. I keep my deck held tight to my chest. Out here you get your throat slit for so much as sheddin’ a tear. Life is a hard place, and you just have to grow some spines for protection like the cactus does.

That’s why I’ve got my sights set on old New Orleans. Hear that’s a place where you can just forget who you are. Become someone else. Sounds good to me. I’d like to be like those hermit crabs, sheddin’ my shell for a new one. Might as well get mighty drunk while doin’ it too. And I hear the women ain’t half bad either.

The French founded that city on the Delta. That’s why it is the way it is, with all those wild parties and loose ladies. I think I’d like to go to France someday. Seems like a place I’d fit in just fine. Drinkin’ wine all day, not givin’ a hoot ‘bout nothin’ and nowhere to go. But I suppose New Orleans is the closest I’ll get, which is fine by me.

Until then, I’ll try to get some sleep. Some good sleep. New Orleans is another few days away…just a few days away.

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