Saturday, August 30, 2008

hurrication - 2008 special edition box set

I've been here before. With different people, under different (but not) circumstances. A different life. Sitting on the back steps of my parents' little bay house remembering a time when it didn't have walls or furniture and I sat back here with my two first and best New Orleans friends, drinking beer, reminiscing, fearing for the future. Now they are gone off to lives outside our city and I'm here with my roommate (the last of my original New Orleans French Quarter stoop crowd) and the dogs and the cats and what random belongings we deemed important in the emotional flood of packing and worrying.

Our joke now is that we are hillbillies, piled into the tiny cab of my truck last night on that dark stretch of interstate between New Orleans and Pensacola. Two cats in a cardboard box between us, one dog perched on top of that, one dog on the floorboard of the passenger side and the two of us. Sardines, with a full truck bed of food and plastic tubs, laughing instead of crying as we talked with tv redneck accents.

I left behind the one thing that I needed the most: my class list and gradebook. Accidentally packed it up in a drawer somewhere in my classroom while the kids and I hid the books in cabinets, wrapped the electronics in garbage bags, and frantically cleared away the debris of everyday in a school. It looks desolate again.

We had all the children sitting on the floor in the cafeteria at the end of the school day and it was all I could do not to cry. To wonder when (if) I would see those same kids again. But the adults have to be strong. And I told them, in their squealing and half-giddy state of near-panic, that I have faith (I have FAITH!) that we will be in school on Wednesday morning just like we thought we'd be before all this Gustav shit hit the fan.

Be safe, New Orleans. I'll be back the first second I can.

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