[Pineapple Fence, New Orleans, January, 2017]
“It’s come to this,” I thought, putting up a “In this house we believe . . . ” sign in my front yard Saturday. “I’m living at a time and a place where I must declare that ‘Kindness is Everything’!” But then I remembered how Bathtub Madonnas once adorned the tiny front yards of this neighborhood. And thought, well, didn’t my former neighbors* feel moved to declare the same thing?
And then a way-more disturbing recollection came to mind: how slave-dealing New England ship captains would display a fresh pineapple on their front fence to signal that they were open for business—or that recent sales in the West Indies had gone well; Party Time! C’mon over! (Which is why we’ve come to believe that Pineapple = “Welcome!” Not quite.)
So, maybe affirming that Black Lives Matter or that Love is Love, as precious or as smug or self-righteous as that might seem, is a good idea!
* Italian or Portuguese, now deceased or condo-zed, i.e. forced to move because their building had been converted to condos—or, possibly, because they no longer could afford their rent.