I have been uncharacteristically quiet these past days. Not just here--everywhere. The truth is that I don't know what to say. I've been reading a lot--news and editorials and blogs, and pretty much all of my rage and sadness has already been expressed by someone else. There isn't any point in my reiterating it all here, nor do I have the emotional energy to do so. It's not that I don't care--far from it--it's just that I can't form words, and others can, so I leave that to them.
Or at least leave it mostly to them.
When I was 15 or 16, I made a list of the cities in the United States that I felt I *must* visit that I hadn't seen yet. It wasn't all that long. From memory, it went like this:
1. New Orleans
2. New York
Things have changed over the past decade. I've been to New York twice, and to Philadelphia once, and to Boston twice, though the second time was just recently and I was only there for a few hours. Nashville has been added to my list. The one I wanted to see the most, though, the whole time, was New Orleans. When I made the list, my fascination with it was all Anne Rice and Concrete Blonde. Later, I knew people who lived there, and started my own (still growing) obsession with the south. Since I've lived in Austin, which is only a long day's drive, I've meant to go, but never gotten around to it.
And it may well be too late. There is a lot of talk about rebuilding, but I wonder how much rebuilding will really be done. And I wonder if what is rebuilt will in any way resemble what was.
Me not being able to see my dream city, which is entirely my own fault, as I had my chance and let it pass me by, is at the very bottom of the list of horrible things stemming from Katrina and her aftermath. At the very bottom of the list, and yet it brings tears to my eyes. At the very bottom of the list, and it's the only one I can even find words for.
I got the ways and means
To New Orleans
Down by the river
Where it's warm and green
I'm gonna have drink, and walk around
I got a lot to think about oh yeah
-Concrete Blonde, "Bloodletting"