Photo of New Orleans from the air
New Orleans central business district from the air in November 2019. Photo courtesy of George Bannister / Flickr

In the 31st installment of “Treading the Waters”, Gerald Anderson meets up with his friend Greg, and they catch up on what Greg missed…

My friend Greg come home from prison. Most of the time when my friends come home we get together. We throw parties sometimes.

Matter of fact, we gotta hit the street. Show everybody I missed my man, but he back home.

When he rode back out, I’m like, “Damn man, what’s going on?” We dabbed up and talked stuff like, “Shit, man, how your mamma and your family and stuff doing?”

I say, “Man, they cool. How it did on that big yard? Boys, little boys trying to go at ya, you know?”

He say, “Nah, man. Nah, nigga, you know I hold myself down.”

I say, “Man, for real, for real. I’m gonna keep it real with you.” 

“We all been in the street, we been hustlin’. Man, I don’t see how they say you tried to swallow a quickie* and stuff in jail, trying to kill yourself and stuff.”

“Man, what about you and Bum? What about y’all? Crazy about him messin’ with your wife? Damn, man, you and Bum got into it! Glad I didn’t meet up with y’all with that kinda stuff when I was out on pass, man. But it’s good to see you home, man, we gotta do somethin’ together. We gotta go in the project for a minute, man. Play with the girls, see what they talkin’ about. Like I said, my mom and everybody alright, man. I been out here for a little minute, man, you know. Let’s go on Bourbon Street, man.”

So we passed through our old stomping ground. I was kicking it on Greg about my man Minew, how he got this guy locked up.

He like, “Damn, man. I don’t know him.”

I say, “He from back of town.”

He say, “Back of town? Man, what he be doing?”

I say, “He put in some work with me. But he was messing with Sam, Sam’s old lady.”

“Clayton?”

I say, “Yeah.”

He say, “Man, what are you looking for? What? Are you ‘bout that?”

I say, “Man, what happened, we work with Sam and she used to always come around and all the sudden they start hookin’ up and shit, you know what I mean. But for real, for real, man, he fightin’ a manslaughter charge right now. I hope he come back out here, man. Foo, foo.”

When I say “foo”, foo’s going wild. Minew was going wild. He wildin’ out.

Greg was like, “I don’t want none of that.”

*”Quickie” is prison slang for a suicide concoction made with bleach and whatever else.


To be continued. Anderson’s first book, “Still Standing: How an Ex-Con Found Salvation in the Floodwaters of Katrina,” is available on Amazon.com.