much about the way new orleans comports itself is like a lover. not a girlfriend or a boyfriend, mind you, and certainly not a spouse. no—only a lover, and a fickle one at that. you will stop by to visit new orleans, and you will be seduced. you will find yourself intertwined with a heat so corporeal that you won’t know where your skin stops and the air around you begins. and the rain? oh, that rain will fall upon you, sudden and impassioned. hard and fervored and completely without inhibition. sometimes it only takes ten minutes—sometimes much longer—before it is drained. exhausted. and afterward, suddenly indifferent, new orleans will leave you alone again in the bright obliviousness of day like nothing ever happened. but you will know (and be secretly pleased) that new orleans’s rain is insatiable and will come for you again and again with an intensity that won’t ever, ever fade.