robertisenberg

Louisiana: 1

In Uncategorized on May 29, 2010 at 12:27 am

As I photographed this gecko on the wall of my hotel, the front door slid open and a blond teenager stepped out. He was skinny and walked with attitude. He wore the coveralls of a maintenance worker, and he pushed a gurney full of rubbish.

“Where y’all from?” he asked. No hello. Just inquisition.

“Uh, Pittsburgh,” I said. Then added stupidly: “Pennsylvania.”

“That’s awesome,” he said.

“Yeah?”

“Yeah. I wish I could live up there.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah. Louisiana fuckin’ sucks.”

“Does it? How come?”

“The police,” he said. “The crime.”

“I did notice a lot of sheriffs on the road,” I said, snapping the lens-cap on my Rebel.

“They’re everywhere,” the kid exclaimed. “And the crime is…” He just shook his head, overwhelmed by all the crime.

“Is there really a lot of crime in Thibodaux?”

“Well, mostly in New Orleans. But it’s everywhere, man.”

As I walked toward my room, I ruminated: Was the kid exaggerating? Or was Thibodaux a hotbed of meth-labs and drive-bys? I’d spent three days here, and the most dangerous person I’d seen was a drunk girl grinding with her friends at karaoke night. Then again, a brief stay at a Days Inn wouldn’t give me much perspective.

I wondered whether that kid knew anything about Pittsburgh. Or was this just a code-name for somewhere other than here.

An hour later, I checked out.

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