By Christopher R. Harris
Hooper adjusted his tired, middle-aged body in the hammock as best he could. He often slept in his hammock on the balcony in the French Quarter air. His friends mostly slept in their air-conditioned, pristine, white-walled, hermetically sealed refurbished apartments. Well, not all. Luis didn’t, and neither did the girlfriend Hooper and Luis shared, Charlotte.
By late evening, the smells of the day mixed with the indigenous Sweet Olive and Night Blooming Jasmine to form its own unique perfume. The heat and unfamiliar smells usually kept the tourists off the street late at night. And that, Hooper thought, was OK. The locals thought tourists were weird for not appreciating the sensual qualities of the city, smells and all. The “yats,” as the locals were called because of their laid-back greeting of “where y’at,” tolerated tourists, but they knew that no one who visited on a tour hip-hopping to five Southern cities in ten days could ever understand New Orleans. And so it should be, he thought.