The air tasted heavy in Louisiana. While unseasonably warm the three days I was there, it was a familiar swampy warmness. Rivulets of sweat forming on my brow while I walked the levee walls of the Mississippi River bank in the Capital District at 8 pm; as I was standing in the Second Baptist Church cemetery in Jackson where my father and older sister are buried; while walking from where I parked underneath the interstate to Parrain’s where I had dinner my final night in Baton Rouge.
Things are changing there, even from when I was there last time in 2013. In my “hometown” of Zachary, they are building an Americana. Actual sit-down restaurants have sprouted up on the east end of town out by where the Wal-Mart is. In the Capital District, they are trying to transform it into an actual city center with nice restaurants, shopping and open spaces.
But it also feels familiar. Maybe it’s all the romanticism and nostalgia I feel for the place, but I actually do think I could live here again. As I was telling Tyson the other day, I know visiting for 72 hours is a completely different thing than actually living in a place. But that’s the thing about these little vacations, you get to ignore reality and just get to bask in the romance of it all. Although, to be honest, I don’t get this feeling from any other city I have visited, not New Orleans, Austin, Vancouver, Seattle, Oklahoma City or San Francisco. Just Baton Rouge.
One thing I realized on this road trip was that I need to create more. Whether good or bad, it’s time to create create create. Whether it’s words, music, pictures, smut, what not, I have to create things. Must must must.