Day two in NOLA: rising to sweat and fetid morning damp, slow waking movement of man, woman, all critters in between. Laying in a big bed, watching two beautiful women sleep, a cat named Thief is cleaning herself and a doglike creature’s poking its head out from beneath the bed to glower at me. Stepping out into Crescent City soup of day: a century’s worth of gum globbed on the sidewalk, trash everywhere – New Orleans is the dirtiest city I’ve ever seen, collecting all manner of things washed down America’s main street gutters to become someone else’s problem. Graffitied messages of hope and indecipherable names scrawled along fenceposts and euro-shabby decrepit clapboard. Down the street a woman is screaming at a toddler; around the corner, another lady is arguing with grocery store security. Everywhere, music and laughter. Everywhere, women’s plaintive voices and men asking questions. The constant con and barter. Faraway gazes and silent lips that say more than any language can contain.