Don Brown, December 2nd, 2013

The Saints play tonight, they are having a great year, that makes me happy. I don’t really care about football although I enjoy watching the game. I could not tell you the names or states of most players yet nothing in the world of football makes me happier than seeing the Saints win a game.

Saints games, much more than Mardi Gras episodes of Cops, remind me of a truly happy period of my life. I lived in New Orleans for about seven years and just loved it. The freedom, the food, the people. The smell of night Jasmine as I walked the streets of the Garden District after the kitchen closed. The smell of the river as I walked to my dad’s house down in the French Quarter. It is a city of smells, even the stale beer and urine that permeates Bourbon Street so often can be endearing when you love the city.

It is also a city of color, a city of music and a city of flavor that has no peer. It is everything prison is not. Damn this place sickens my soul. My cell is loam, not just the walls, everything. My locker, my desk, my bunk, my mattress, even my damn coffee cup. My clothes are brown just like the other 1,300 men I share this place with. The food is soy bean, no matter what shape or name they give it, covered in tomato paste and water or gravy base and water.

It kills the soul, it really does. I don’t care enough about anything to be angry, or sad, or happy. I just don’t care. So thank god for the Saints, pun intended, for a few hours tonight I will care about something. I’ll eat a ramen noodle, pretend it’s gumbo, and remember what being alive was like.