Hey, white boy, what you doin’ uptown? April 19, 2008Posted by Mark Folse in 504, cryptic envelopment, Dancing Bear, New Orleans, NOLA, Odds&Sods, Toulouse Street.
Tags: 504, Carlos Castaneda, Magnolia, New Orleans, NOLA, Popeyes, underground, Velvet Underground
It’s Saturday, April 18 and this is reel two of the Underground Weekend.
The line of this song that resonates with memory is “Hey, white boy, what you doin’ uptown?” I have absolutely no familiarity with what the rest of this song is about. I swear. I mean, I got kids I’m raising in this town, so I’m not telling any stories. The line reminds me of our frequent stops long ago on Claiborne Avenue near the Magnolia for some 3 a.m. chicken at what we used to call the Project Popeyes. We would stumble in, white as altar boy gowns, reeking of smoke and of liquor for a quick dark, spicy, rice to finish off a loveless night. We used to get some looks wandering in there, but one of the useful things you can pick up reading Carlos Castaneda–other than a superficial knowledge of plant pharmacology–is the concept of fearlessness. Ah, to be young and invincible and free from any preconceptions about what might happen next. To be living in the Underground.
Fearlessness, it seems, is incompatible with the burdens we take on in this world. A family with children? A mortgage to keep a roof over their head? The lesson I take at 50 from Castaneda is that a warrior must be impeccable, which proves to be much harder than fearless, more work and much less fun. Here in the Ersatz Underground we still have a little of the freedom that fearlessness requires.
This ends reel two of the Underground weekend. The next reel will be tape three. No, Peter, you may not post Sunday Morning as your SMV, as that will be tape three.