“Only New Orleans is real… [5]

Shaylee Edwards
3 min readOct 19, 2021


But we aren’t here to talk about interior decorating, even if it is of the magical sort. We’re here to.. well, why are we here? Why are you here? What brings you [ here ]? It’s always a good question to ask yourself when you’re somewhere. Sometimes I don’t want to tell anyone things. That’s why I’m here. I can say things without telling anyone. Why don’t I want to tell anyone? Mostly it’s too good and unbelievable. It’s like in The Little Prince when the author draws an elephant that was swallowed by a snake and all the adults think he drew a hat. It’s like that. I don’t tell because they might not see the elephant. And it’s such a buzzkill when you try to show someone an elephant and all they see is a hat.

I guess that’s another reason why I love New Orleans. There is a bit of an elephant-appreciating culture. Actually, I’ve been waiting for an elephant this month and I wonder if this is it. I have a mini Zoltar machine that recites a few fortunes and that came with 15 fortune cards. It was a gift from someone who not ironically knows a thing or two about elephants. I pull the cards every so often for this or for that. And last two weeks, no kidding, I pulled this lovely card about elephants and wisdom a disproportionate amount of times. We’re talking 1 in 50,000 odds kind of times. At least.

I guess this is the wisdom I’ve been waiting for. Things aren’t what they seem.

For instance, I was out a few weekends ago. Middle of a Saturday, I think. There’s an 80-something-year-old bookseller I adore, Winston — can I use real names here? — he’d love it — Winston, if you’re [ here ] I did some light math from the hurricane story you told me last week, but am happy to correct or round down if asked — anyhow I try to go buy books from him at the weekend market because I like to. He wasn’t there. So I wandered toward Jackson Square to see if Wayne was out selling. Wayne is a brilliant painter. He sees things for what they are and then somehow gets them to dance on a flat surface. The first time I met him he walked me through this one. Pie in the Sky.

Pie in the Sky, Mixed Media

And I still think about it. If anyone wants to buy it for me, please venmo $450 and say so. Anyhow, on my way to meet Wayne there was a big plywood table with upside-down 5-gallon plastic buckets for legs. It was covered with metal cutouts. I’m going through a skull and a sacred heart phase and saw both, so stopped to see if any twinkled to come home with me.