Conversations in Elevators About Frozen Heads

Conversations in Elevators About Frozen Heads…

Thank God I made notes. I swear to you, every single day something unusual happens in New Orleans, and I find myself unable to remember most of them when I want to write a blog. Got three pages of craziness on my desk right now, scribbled on journal sheets and (hopefully) in “note-to-self” code that no one else can make sense of. Hopefully.Anyway, while I was really, really pregnant I was going to the doctor three times a week – enough to make me go into labor just from the parking nightmares. I resented it for so many reasons, mostly because Bryce was perfectly healthy and I hated leaving the Quarter at all during that time… and plus, Uptown is boring.

So, there I am one day, taking the elevator in Touro hospital up to the doctor’s office. A black lady pressed number two for me and informed me I was having a boy. (“You carryin’ him high and round, no doubt, that’s a boy.”) Thanks, I know.

Next, this guy comes into the elevator dressed in a one-piece jumpsuit with a company logo on it. He’s wheeling a tank that looks like R2D2 onto the elevator, and I notice that the company logo, also on the tank, is for a cryogenics lab. The black lady notices, too.He presses the fourth floor button and stares at the ceiling. A janitor and a police lady step in and press buttons. The door closes and I ask the man,

“Cryogenics? Isn’t that like when they freeze those peoples’ heads to bring them back to life later? I saw a movie about that.”

“Somebody HEAD in there?” the black woman asks.

The guy stares at the ceiling.

“Whose head in there?” the cop wants to know.

Jumpsuit head-carrying guy rolls his eyes at me. Look what I started. Superstitious New Orleanians in an elevator, convinced there’s a head in his tank. He shakes his head, and now it’s time for me to get off.

The doors open. I get off, hearing the janitor ask,

“Seriously, man. Whose head is in there?”

Well, who knows what frozen part of what person was in that tank. Maybe it was just a goldfish they are studying. Or something. Fourth floor is the lab. Maybe Richard is right about the Zombies.

Maybe it was Al Copeland’s head. Wow. How cool would that be?

Maybe they are planning to behead Mayor Nagin and store his head to study and prevent future episodes of bad mayorship.

Maybe Edwin Edwards died in jail and they are secretly trying to bring him back before anyone hears about it.

Maybe I was just crazy-pregnant with a wild imagination – but whatever was in that tank… you can bet the truth was stranger than fiction. It’s New Orleans. I wish we had held that guy hostage until he told us.

I love this town.