The Way of Indigo


We weren’t supposed to be there. More and more this town had that feel, like no one was supposed to be here anymore.

The cemetery was in the middle of the Garden District surrounded by the best houses. Sandra Bullock lived near enough to hear the dead screaming beneath the stones. Trent Reznor used to live close, too, in a classic Neoclassical.

So did a Yankee soldier who retired from military service to sell indigo that came in through the Port of New Orleans; the tint later went up the Mississippi and turned the Union uniforms blue.

“These mausoleums are as big as apartment buildings,” she said. “You could live in them.”

I started to say something, but felt a stiff wind as two figures veiled in black plastic and covered in ash shoved her back into the concrete enclosure.

I spent all night outside that old mausoleum crying for her to come back, but she didn’t. In the morning I took the Saint Charles line to water, and went the way of indigo forever.   

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