1918: How could that be? Europe was shrouded in darkness. I had been alone for decades. The Spanish flu had come to New Orleans, mortals swaying through the streets as if drunk, bags of camphor about their necks, their skin turning blue. Chemicals were ploughed into fields and sloughing into the Mississippi, factories billowed smoke and towers of iron littered the burning oil fields like a vision of Medieval hell. Storyville was shut down. The lights were fading.
Our rooftop garden was lit with candles. 2018 burst in cold fire which arced above our heads. Louis wore that soft look of his, of wistful, lost wonder. I shall be 260 this year and that's worth a laugh. The world is shrinking and the light never dims. I'm still hungry but I am content. Each year is but a number. It's the soul itself that ticks onward.