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四处游荡的艾小柯

四处游荡的艾小柯

My Little Travel World


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死灵之城


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2007年2月28日

        

新奥尔良的墓葬与美国其它地方全然不同,个个都是地上“悬棺”。这倒不是因为新奥尔良的人多么念旧,无法忘怀死者所以给他们建筑了“死灵之城”,而是新奥尔良这片地方,地表下面就是大沼泽,多挖几尺坟墓就进水了,总不能把先人的躯体泡在水里吧。这点上,新奥尔良的传统又和加勒比众多岛国风俗类似了。

 

著名的圣路易斯第一号公墓距离二号公墓只有三个街区,生了锈的黑栏杆铁门把里面一排排静默的灵魂与外面熙攘的公路隔开。很多墓地都有相当的年头了,这些墓葬基本都是长方形结构,普通的大概两人高,顶上或平或成三角状,本来是白色的外墙皮早已变成斑驳的灰色。墓的正面多是一人半高的石板门,有的干脆用红砖砌住,外面再抹上白灰。不过年久失修的墓地们白灰都掉得差不多了,露出里面已经发黑了的老砖。有钱人家的墓地宏伟得多,长长的跟一个小“猎枪筒房”类似,边角方方正正,平顶上面矗立着巨大洁白的天使雕像,或者是圣母玛利亚,气派非凡。与新奥尔良贫富夹杂的城市景观一样,在灵魂的城市里,穷的富的也互为睦邻,各不相扰。

 

也有一些墓在修葺,所以能够看到墓室里面的结构。一般的墓室分上下二或三层,最上面的用来放置棺椁。新奥尔良建城两百年,可公共排水系统直到二十世纪初才建成,哪怕到今天,法国区的排水排污系统仍然是一百年前的老结构,一下雨,由于地下水会从密西西比河与北部的庞恰特雷恩湖(Lake Pontchartrain)会向盆地地势位于海平面下七到二十英尺不等的老城回灌,仅有的排水系统也开始“反刍”,污水在石板街面肆意横流,加上红灯区一年四季不断的醉汉们的慷慨奉献,波旁大街永远充满了腐败所特有的味道。这样的公共健康环境,怎么不是疾病与瘟疫的温床!新奥尔良历史上曾发生过数次大规模的瘟疫,大批生命死亡,普通墓葬的两个棺椁位置不够,还要暂借公墓一角特意修葺的“棺材公寓”。这些“公寓”比起独门独户的墓地就要简陋的多,四平八稳方方正正如同烤箱一样的结构,没有任何装饰、生铁栏杆或者雕像,只有墙面是一样的斑驳脱落。每个棺椁一个方方正正的小口,棺木从这里放进去,等到家族墓地有了空房,或者直到俭骨日再回归祖先的怀抱。

 

俭骨一般都发生在安葬一年之后,棺材打开,逝者的遗骸被从中请出,扫入到墓地的最下层,与家族先人们的骸骨合并一处,生生世世,永不分离。

 

圣路易斯第一与二号墓地中所葬名人无数,其中巫毒皇后玛利亚母女俩,是新奥尔良历史上最具有神秘色彩的人物。

 

这大玛利亚的身世一直是个谜。据说她是1794年出生在法国区的,具有白人、黑人和印第安三重血统,集各家巫术之长为一身,修炼成美国历史上最著名的巫毒皇后。这位皇后不仅巫术厉害,最厉害的是通晓当时各种前卫发型,常常给显赫贵妇们当形象指导;同时她还开有妓院,研制春药,组织淫荡的群交游戏,服务于上层社会的达官贵人。利用这许多明暗关系网,马利亚皇后掌握了政界商界要人的多方机密,并以此作为自己发达的政治资本,获得了无以伦比的财富声誉与名望。这位一代巫皇死亡之后,据无数传奇报道,人们仍然常常看见她的身姿出现在法国区街头。一种说法是玛利亚皇后的女儿之一继承了衣钵,干脆连名字都借了,继续母亲大人辉煌的巫毒事业;另一种说法那就跟灵异力量相关了,不过可以确信的一点是,二百年后的今天,玛利亚皇后创立的巫毒事业在新奥尔良是日益发展壮大,并成为城市象征之一。法国区随便哪个游人如织的街角,都能在纪念品店里找到代表各种象征的巫毒小人,至于这些小人是被买回去跟招财猫摇钱树一样摆在家里祈求多金多福呢,还是被用来插入万颗银针诅咒敌人我就不得而知了。

 

既然无毒皇后究竟是死亡了还是另有蹊跷,那么她究竟魂归何处也成了史学家的一个研究课题。大玛利亚好说,葬于圣路易斯第一号墓地,每年有无数游客慕名前来,或膜拜,或猎奇;可小玛利亚,也就是巫毒皇后灵魂最后附体的继承者究竟葬在哪里,是一场永远没有结论的争执。各个新教旧教都宣称拥有小玛利亚的遗骨,目前能确信的只是她葬在圣路易斯二号公墓,墓碑无字。许多慕名前来寻找小玛利亚芳魂的访客,如果认为自己猜中了,就在某个无名墓地的破落粉墙上用红笔画个叉,再围绕墓碑转三圈,跳三跳,祈求巫毒皇后灵魂附体,赐予无限力量。

 

新奥尔良老城,与这些死灵之城共同经历着那些火灾、战乱、瘟疫、飓风、洪水的洗礼,在时光的脚步中依然用古老的爵士乐浅吟低唱着,叹息着,谱写着新的传奇。


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February 23rd, 2008
Posted by aixiaoke | 永远的新奥尔良, 短篇游记 | no comments

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