Transcendental Meditation amid a Torrent

It started in Houston, a small drizzle, preceded by a ridiculously bumpy landing.
From Houston, a layover of 45 minutes and a decent sandwich from an airport vendor, we boarded for New Orleans.
It was our first vacation without the kids and we’d she’d only seen The Crescent City in a mad rush through the Quarter and didn’t see the beauty the city held, only what at 19, she was really allowed by her parents.
Arriving at our hotel too early for check-in, we left our luggage with their bellperson and headed for Jackson Square.
Stepping on the street, we saw the usual New Orleans panhandlers, though there were less than there’d been when I visited the city 17 years prior.
The chill of an early spring rain and the smell of spices and Creole seasonings drifted from the restaurants we passed.
Our stomachs were soon growling and though we weren’t quite hungry we perused menus searching for dinner, but nothing sounded good and we made our way to Jackson Square, it was then as the chill and scents of New Orleans ran through our senses the heavens opened.
It wasn’t the rain we were used to. It was a southern downpour.
We ran from awning to awning and sidewalk to sidewalk dodging the torrent unleashed upon us.
We stepped in puddles as our clothes became drenched and then we decided to sit, eat and take in the flavors of New Orleans.
I’d only been doing TM a week, but after our meal we returned to our hotel for my second meditation of the day.
My wife thought it was a phase at that point, or that I couldn’t be experiencing the things I told her, but now that it’s been months later, she understands that it’s not a fluke and she’s closer to learning the TM technique.

Writers, stories come from anywhere.

French Quarter

While I stared at nightlife along cobblestone of the French Quarter, a man stopped in front of me. He wore no smile, he bore no burden, he only looked at me, nodded his head and kept going.

My wife was nowhere to be seen, my fedora, which I began wearing again resting softly against my scalp, pulled at me, as if it were saying follow him.

I stumbled along the cobblestone, my shoes scuffing as I nearly fell a few times in pursuit of the man, he turned a corner, I followed. Then, when I nearly gave up, he turned, tipped his top hat and began walking again.

Through alleyways, in front of churches and finally I was on Bourbon Street. The man, the gleam of his top hat catching the light of the gas lamps lining the street, glowed eerily, but I pressed on.

I was nearly out of breath when I caught up to him, grabbed him by a dirty sleeve coat, and asked him, “Why?”

He looked at me quizzically, “Young sir, you’ve been chasing me through the quarter, I thought you were mad, or inebriated, but standing next to you, I know you’re neither. What could I do for you?” He said.

My eyes must have looked like fire as I stood underneath a gas lamp of the quarter, “I only wish to thank you.” I said.

“Thank me?” He said, his large eyebrows crawling into his scalp.

“Yes sir, you’ve given me plenty to write about when I return home.” I said.

“Than this has been a good trip indeed.” He said and vanished into nothingness.

Stories can come from anywhere, remember that.