His journey brought him to Metaine, Louisiana. Right in the middle of the Cajun country, the place still maintains its French-Acadian root, reflected in its unique cuisine of gumbo soup, oyster po’-boy sandwich, fried catfish, and boiled crawfish. The elderly hotel-owner suggested to Brad trying out the “Southern Experience”, town’s famous Sunday brunch place with live Zydeco music and active dance-floor.
Next Sunday morning, Brad located the place. The aroma of the Cajun cooking along with the sound of music filled the neighborhood’s atmosphere. Once inside, he noticed all the dining tables were set against the walls, thus creating a dance floor in the middle. On the opposite end of the eatery, there was a performance stage. A local group, appropriately named “Bayou Howlers” was belting out Cajun music accompanied with the sound of guitars, accordions and scraping of a wavy shiny metal piece. The dance floor was packed with locals and several international tourists. While some were dancing alone, a few were continuously changing partners effortlessly.
Brad holding a local cocktail was standing on the perimeter, when a young African-American lady with shiny hair and leopard outfit approached him: “Hi, I’m Monique. Come, dance with me.”
“Not good at it,” replied Brad.
The beauty was persistent: “I’ll teach you.”
She gently grabbed him and began to give him lessons to the rhythm of the energetic music. Soon Brad found his groove and lost into a pleasant happiness amidst all these strangers.
Suddenly there was a commotion, outside. An African-American youth ran inside the place screaming repeatedly “They’re killing us again.” Music and dance halted, a hush silence descended, and the bartender turned on the local channel of the TV on the wall. A “Breaking News” appeared on the screen. A Sunday morning mass in a predominant African-American church was taking place in Hahnville, a few miles away. Somebody heard a knock on the door. A white youth wanted to join the ongoing prayer. The priest brought him in, placing in the front pew. He listened to the sermon for a few moments, stood up and pulled out a loaded-gun firing mercilessly, while shouting racial slurs, recently propagated by country’s governing strongman. The pastor jumped from his pulpit wrestling out his gun, while taking the last bullet. Thirty parishioners, including several children lay down motionless.
Brad hugged Monique. Tear drops were already rolling down her eyes.