Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hey Juan

This time last year I was banging my cab into the curbs up in Jersey, broke and miserable. The garden state had worn me out like an abusive spouse. I was determined to stop being a co dependent of the nation's most dysfunctional state. A fellow cab driver, Waffle had placed in my head the crazy notion of moving to New Orleans. Most of my coworkers didn't think I would ever move. That's the attitude in Jersey, no matter how miserable you are, there is no place else to live.

 I shared my ambitions with Juan, one of my favorite passengers. A young man who if he was any mellower people would check his pulse, an artist and musician. He had friends whose band had played down in New Orleans and told him how great it was. Juan has followed my exploits and struggles since I hopped the barbed wire fence surrounding Jersey and kept running. Between this blog and our facebook contact, he has egged me on and provided encouragement at just the right times.

I'm getting the impression that he's not too happy back in Jersey. The term Waffle kept using to lure me down to the Big Easy was "Come down to be with like minded individuals." Waffle didn't exaggerate. I found folks who were only concerned with creating art, food and music, and for the most part not interested with materialism. Don't get me wrong, it's not perfect. This city is filled with either hustlers or the hustled. The economy isn't much better than the northeast, but if you are going to be poor this is the place to do it. A wealthy man will say good morning to a homeless man with as much respect as if he was talking to a judge.

If you come down with a couple of hundred in your pocket and ambition, not only will you survive, I bet you will be a lot happier. When you come down, we'll visit Waffle at Ms May's and have a beer and laugh at New Jersey together.

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