when the levee breaks

So after a year of hard work, intelligence, and pure man power, all that separates New Orleans from another devastating natural disaster is a little brick wall. I can’t build anything. I have trouble with Ikea furniture. I’ve only recently started cooking and i am incapable of fixing cars. What i mean to say is, I can’t build a giant dome or a taller wall or think of a better way to help the people of this city. But I do have an ugly confession to make. A week or so after Katrina came and went I remember the pictures in the Post, the articles in the Times, the images on the internet; the whole episode seemed biblical. My friend and I were talking about why things occur to certain people and having no knowledge about New Orleans, having never been there, barely knowing where on the map it lay, I said, “But what kind of people are they? Should we feel bad for them? Maybe the universe knows something we don’t.” I will come back to this arrogant, asinine, senseless, irresponsible, idiotic, uncaring, total fucking lunacy of a statement, that I may preface it’s evolution. My Mom’s to blame. She went to New Orleans with one of her boyfriends (Richard) and at seven I was left to the care of my incapable aunt. Upon her return, I stumbled across an envelope of pictures (prone as i was, to invading all drawers, shelves, desks and cabinets) and pulled a polaroid of my naked mother covered only by some exotic Tiger in turqouise paint. His slanted yellow eyes, were my Mom’s boobs, His grinning chesire mouth, settled over the most holy of holy places and that right there fucked me up nice and good. The fact that my Mom wasn’t even embarrased by my confrontation but seemed to look fondly on the memory, enraged me further. I did not like my mother as an exotic blue Tiger. New Orleans. A place where mom’s can forget their children, paint themselves red, fuck everything that walks, and all for the pride of beads. Those magical beads. No. No. Wrong. I hated this place. I hated seeing my Mom like that. This place houses the dregs of mankind. The world, right before Noah began building that arc. Where men raped women, fucked chickens, killed for space and property, burned what wasn’t his. A place where life became the residue of disease. I fell asleep reading the Time article and flipping back and forth between a before and after picture of the wreckage. One side was a landscape. A marshy field of carnage and paper and trucks in trees and what seemed like technology and clothing growing out of the ground. The other, was the present, pristine, and uncluttered New Orleans of today. I fell asleep dreaming about water. I dreamed of storms. Current. Of people screaming and no fresh clothing, and water, just a thin layer of water covering my floors. So now my shoes are all wet. My records are all wet. the carpets, the wires, My son’s hand sewn clown blanket his great grandma made him, now wet and heavy. I have to get him out. I have to get him out of the house. But outside is worse. There are tree branches slamming against my front door. Trucks being sent upstream into telephone poles. My door bangs with electrical wires and the tall tree trunk wants in. My house. My girlfriend. my son. I’m so wet that I’ll never dry. I want to rip my face off and this is from the calm comfort of my home. Where I sit on my plump white couch that folds out into a bed. I’m gonna sleep after I finish this post. Maybe check the spelling one last time; knock back a shot of chocolate soy milk. I’m sorry people have to suffer. I’m sorry for what I said. I have nothing to say about New Orleans because I’ve never been there. But my Mother liked it and I loved my Mother very much.

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