All Aboard to the Crescent City

Mariyah Parson

Can’t sleep; my anxiety is keeping me up. My stomach feels like a bird’s nest and all the birds are starving for attention. I just lay there looking up at the ceiling in the dark. Thinking about what I’m going to do in New Orleans. My mind is racing as fast as Usain Bolt. I’m thinking: will I meet a vampire, maybe a witch, what if I’m a vampire’s T-bone steak? Then I think, nah, I eat way too much meat and my diet is whack. I’m not a suitable candidate for such a feast.

The alarm clock and I are in competition and I’m clearly going to win. I kick up out of bed karate style, or at least that’s what it seems like anyway. My body feels like a small raft in an ocean full of excitement and anxiety. I make it to the bathroom to freshen up, still daydreaming about New Orleans, not realizing that I have brushed my teeth till my gums have bled a faint rosy red. After I brush my teeth squeaky clean, I start to wash my face. I feel the warm rugged towel against my face, digging into the nooks and crannies. Surprisingly, I discover lime green sleep in my eyes. I honestly don’t know how it got there, considering the fact that I didn’t sleep all night. I make it back to the room and find my phone in the near dark. I stare at the fluorescent phone screen to look at the time. As I stare at the phone, the time makes my eyes ache. I have time, I say to myself.

I put on my clothes, grab my luggage, and squeeze out the door. Smack! The cold not only hits me in the face, but passes right through my ocean blue Duke pullover. The pullover that once shielded my body now yielded to the almighty cold. As I start walking, the sky and I make eye contact. We fall in love at first sight, even though her attitude is cold and smacks me right in the face. She is silent and waits on my forgiveness, and I forgive her eventually. We walk alongside each other, and I feel connected to her cold but loving touch. She shows me what she can do and makes a Frito Lay bag dance across the street. Her heart beats as she walks me to the train station. I only wish the sky’s magic could carry my luggage as well. I try to alternate my hands while I carry the luggage, but they still feel like they been cut by a thousand razors, marinated in lemon juice, and put in a deep freezer. The backpack I carry feels like a lazy one hundred pound being on my back. My back is being pushed in by the sky bluish-green Nike backpack.

I try to take my mind off the pain by looking at the scenery. Not so interesting Carbondale is now bustling full of silent, mind blowing conversation. Carbondale shows me secrets that are in plain sight. Like the streetlights for instance, so commonly ignored. Yet thriving full of beautifully rich, reddish-orange light. As I pass the streetlights, I converse with the sky, as well as Carbondale. They talk back simultaneously, and yet I understand it. It’s almost like they harmonize with each other and make a beautiful song.

The song helps me strut along to the train station. When I finally get there, the backpack is still deflating and pushing my back in. The luggage I pull is still cutting my hands and has invisibly stored them in the deep freezer of nature.

Oh! What a relief! I first let go of the torture device of luggage. Then, I throw the lazy selfish backpack onto the chair next to me. My back inflates back into its normal happy posture.

I let my body float, then sink into the chair; while I sink, I pull out my phone. As I check the news feed, I decide to check my bank account. I gaze at the yellowish-green tinted Regions screen, and see that they have taken $75.00 out of my account! Damn fees!

My heart was doing a thousand Mike Tyson uppercuts to my chest. My gut rolls up and somehow is tied into a knot. The blood in my body turns into an internal furnace which should be working outside.

“Damn Regions!” I say so loud that the whole room could hear. I was on a budget, and now it’s ruined. I have my check coming this Wednesday, so I won’t worry; I still have spending money

“Momma, I’m going to New Orleans whether you like it or not,” I say in a fearful soft tone of voice.

“Pfft, yeah alright. Whatever you say little short dumpy girl,” says my Momma. Going to New Orleans has been a dream of mine, and now I’m going to make it come true. I busted my ass to wipe other people’s ass and saved money for my dream trip.

I feel accomplished. “We Made it” by Drake goes off in my head, and I skip to the beat.

“New Orleans!” screams the attendant. “Boarding to New Orleans.”

The song continues to play in my head, as my face is at war with an underdog smile. But underdogs always come out on top (in this story). A smile is plastered to my face as I pick up the villainous luggage and suddenly remember that underdogs always win, eventually. Off to the unknown!