I shift my eyes towards the canopy of Spanish moss above me, listening to the blind man in Chippewa Square play "When The Saints Go Marching In" on his trumpet. I’m enjoying my morning off work in solitude, moving along at a pace that mimics the thick and sticky air of a Savannah summer.
I drive downtown to Goosefeathers Cafe and bite into a bacon croissant accented by a sugar-dusted waffle and topped with a dollop of cool whipped cream. Once the fruit preserves are wiped off my chin and croissant flakes brushed off my lap, I amble up Abercorn Street, reminded by the heavy bells of the blue and white Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist that it is now eleven.
I head to Forsyth Park and lie on the 30 acres of grassy lawn and shaded oaks. In between classes, students in beanies, TOMS shoes, and skinny jeans from Savannah College of Art and Design begin filling in the park, hula-hooping and dancing in drum circles while I’m lulled by the jazz music floating on the sultry air from a nearby couples’ speakers. I flag down a pedicab — a bike taxi service — and soak in the breeze while an art student sweats out the previous night’s debauchery as he peddles me downtown. Stopping at Zunzi’s, I order an Oliver’s Lunch from the guy fresh out of college behind the food bar.
“Shit yeah!” he says as he slams my plate full of creamy mashed potatoes, Italian seasoned chicken, and smoked South African sausage, all drenched in Tzatziki dressings with a gravy known only as “Shit Yeah! Sauce.” I take my food to Wright Square next door and, while listening to a middle-aged man in his Rastafarian-colored Baja jacket play his didgeridoo, fork down my plate of South African and Italian fusion. Licking my fingers clean, I saunter down to River Street.
I stagger across the 18th century cobblestones, making my way to The Shrimp Factory for a Chatham Artillery Punch — a concoction of tea, lemon, brown sugar, wine, rum, brandy, gin, and whiskey that left George Washington so hungover, he swore never to return to Savannah. I step in the direct middle of the square outside the Shrimp Factory called the Echo-Spot and say something, listening to the echo that only I can hear.
As the heavy air begins to thin out and the sun softens, I make the thirty minute drive to Tybee Island. I watch kite-surfers dip in and out of the water as I order double battered and deep fried spuds from Spanky’s, dunking them in honey. Once the sun is submerged by the sea, I return downtown where Savannah begins evolving into its faster-paced night life.
I head to City Market and listen to a Flogging Molly cover band while enjoying a sour and highly alcoholic Scorpion Tea from Hangfire Bar with friends from work. We stumble down Congress Street, going in any bar and leaving freely with a drink in hand. Maybe two. I order an Irish Breakfast shot and chase it with orange juice, sparing some change for the violinist outside. I soak in the sounds of bells ringing on pedicabs, people laughing, people fighting, shot glasses clanking against the bar, beer glasses clanking against each other.
Only as the sky is tinted by a hazy pink does Savannah finally doze off. Lulled to sleep by the air thickening up in the approaching morning, my mind is on those sugar dusted waffles and trumpets delivering Louis Armstrong songs beneath a canopy of Spanish moss.