So I wasn’t here for Katrina, I stepped foot in Louisiana for the very first time about four months after it hit.
Because of that – because I did not go through what most everyone I have met here has, because i did not know the glory of this city – New Orleans – one tiny bit before I moved here and therefore have nothing but pictures and other peoples’ stories to compare it to before Katrina, I often feel like some sort of strange imposter compared to my friends and everyone else who has, firsthand, suffered through what they did, and continue to feel the pain.
Still, there is an uncommon resilience I see here in these people. They say “Oh, I lost that in Katrina”, and go on – regardless if it were their clothes, sentimental keepsakes that could never be replaced due to flooding, or their entire house. I don’t know if they have repressed everything, or actually accepted it.
Perhaps there is a strange comeraderie that bonds them together, letting them feel as if they aren’t alone, therefore not making the pain any less, but more bearable.
They still have their lives.
Tonight however, while IM-ing with someone I have not been in contact with for a few months, I got angry – then terrified. How much of the country actually has the same attitude as this person?
(towards the end of the conversation…)
XXXXX (5/30/2006 10:08:34 PM): so, everything is good over there in LA?
XXXXX (5/30/2006 10:10:14 PM): besides hot?
ksea_flux (5/30/2006 10:10:34 PM): good? Hmm – well, okay for me, except for the heat and humidity. Two days away from the new hurricane season though, and the army corps of engineers are far from done repairing the levees.
XXXXX (5/30/2006 10:10:47 PM): oh, shit.
XXXXX (5/30/2006 10:11:03 PM): man, all those guys got the short end.
ksea_flux (5/30/2006 10:11:45 PM): the short end – like – ummm – losing everything they had ever owned – if they were lucky?
XXXXX (5/30/2006 10:12:38 PM): LOL
XXXXX (5/30/2006 10:12:44 PM): unfortunately, yes.
XXXXX (5/30/2006 10:12:48 PM): it sucks.
XXXXX (5/30/2006 10:12:58 PM): completely and utterly.
XXXXX (5/30/2006 10:13:12 PM): anyway, I gotta run
XXXXX (5/30/2006 10:13:18 PM): great to hear from you!
ksea_flux (5/30/2006 10:13:25 PM): okay, nice talking with you too…
XXXXX (5/30/2006 10:13:44 PM): maybe I’ll run into you on the playa this year?
ksea_flux (5/30/2006 10:14:16 PM): and really – the lol was completely uncalled for. You haven’t seen this place.
ksea_flux (5/30/2006 10:14:48 PM): and heard the stories first hand, or seen people – still – completely breaking down.
ksea_flux (5/30/2006 10:14:58 PM): I know you didn’t mean any harm, but…
XXXXX (5/30/2006 10:15:33 PM): oh come on ksea
XXXXX (5/30/2006 10:15:52 PM): it seems like I can’t say anything without you taking offense
ksea_flux (5/30/2006 10:15:55 PM): what?
XXXXX (5/30/2006 10:16:25 PM): you have scolded me enough times, I think
XXXXX (5/30/2006 10:16:37 PM): for things I didn’t even mean the way you took them
XXXXX (5/30/2006 10:17:06 PM): where did your sense of humor go?
ksea_flux (5/30/2006 10:17:23 PM): well, when a couple of thousand people lose their lives, they’re still finding bodies in the rubble of people’s lives, and you you seem to take it lightly – HUMOR???
XXXXX (5/30/2006 10:17:42 PM): you know what, I think we shouldn’t talk anymore.
ksea_flux (5/30/2006 10:17:46 PM): oh. yeah. it’s real fucking funny here.
then they signed off.