I learned engraving from a counterfeiter,
accounting from a swindler.
A succubus once tried to teach me the tango. But nothing doing.
I didn't have the hips for it."
- Samuel McCord
As Samuel McCord regards his past,
his memories are angels of lightning and storm, sweeping his mind's eye over flashes of pain through the mists of his epic life.
The dying of his mother and sister. His murder of his own father. Discovering the true face of Elu. Losing him to a strange limbo.
Riding beside his new family, the Texas Rangers. Losing that family as he turns his back on the Alamo to rescue a small boy from kidnapping Comanches.
At the age of fifty, having his blood mingled with that of the Angel of Death. Never aging from that moment on. An eternal old man.
Loving the mysterious, undying Meilori Shinseen. Losing her to his compulsion to rescue lost children and battered women.
A man with no home of his own,
making his night club, Meilori's, a home for all the frightened street orphans and hollow-eyed women that cross his path.
But it is a dangerous home, whose back hallways, some say, lead to Hell itself. Samuel himself remains silent on the subject.
Some say he has seen too much to believe in a loving God. Others say he wants to believe but cannot. Still others whisper his silence is because he is already damned.
Meilori's, among more shivering things, is a jazz club.
The people of New Orleans atrophy when kept too far from music and from that special kind of life found only where melody and magic dance in the heavy shadows.
That life is the religion in a city in whose population can be found the most profane, pagan, and deliciously wicked. And their temple?
Meilori's, of course.
That feared club in which almost anything can happen and in which almost everything has.
Return here Sunday for an up-close and personal visit to Meilori's ... if you dare.
I think of Samuel McCord whenever I hear this theme.
Listen and you can see him riding into Indian territory, (.50)
riding up a jagged mountain beside a cascading waterfall, and stopping at the peak,
looking out at the far distant horizons for the peace that he knows he will never find.