Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Current Status

Thanks to everyone for your support and concern, it helps a lot.

Here's what I know so far:
As of Sunday my mom and little brother were going to a local shelter. If it was full, they were going to an aunt's place in Alabama. I've spoken to that aunt now, and she says my mom never showed up, so that means she went to the shelter. I don't know which shelter, and how the shelters fared in the storm. I'm operating under the assumption that they're OK, my mom being the ultimate survivor, and my little brother being the craftiest 14 year-old ever, but their home and car is long gone (which is everything they own).

Alternately, I'm freaking the fuck out.

Also: one aunt and uncle evacuated in Montgomery. Two cousins made it to Texas. Another cousin in northern Mississippi. All homes and apartments lost.

Are all of your people OK?

Body and Soul

A strange disconnection has quietly occurred in the past two days. A separation of body and mind. Or is it body and soul? I think philosophers are still working on that.

So, this disconnection. My body is here in the top dot, stubbornly breathing and eating and pissing and craving flesh. It refuses to recognize that my mind, my soul, has relocated itself to the bottom dot. Business goes unfinished, plans go abandoned, calls unreturned. The body throws a tantrum, for attention, it wants to eat more and breathe more and fuck more. But the mind doesn't care, having relocated to the bottom dot.
The bottom dot where my blood comes from. Where I learned to be who I am. Where my people and my dreams for them live. Where I learned to love, to lust, to drive, to drink, to worry, to hope, to see.

My body's not there yet, but it can smell the magnolia, the chicory, the beignet, the moss. Soon. Soon. Soon.


" Well, the rails are washed out north of town
We gotta head for higher ground
We can't come back till the water comes down,
Five feet high and risin'"
-Johnny Cash

This and This


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Going Under

My brain is accelerating. Burning me up inside. Is this how you felt on 9/11, so far from me, touching the phosphors trying to reach out to me?

So far away. And just echoes and whispers and air. Keep me away from the television. Turn off the internet. I want to drug and drink and fuck my fears and doubts away.

No. Messages sent to FEMA. And to MEMA. And to the Red Cross. And to the Salvation Army. Echoes and whispers and air. Call me. Can't you see that I love you and I can't breathe if you can't breathe?

When The Levee Breaks

"If it keeps on rainin', levee's goin' to break
And the water gonna come in, have no place to stay
Well all last night I sat on the levee and moan
Well all last night I sat on the levee and moan
Thinkin' 'bout my baby and my happy home
If it keeps on rainin', levee's goin' to break
If it keeps on rainin', levee's goin' to break
And all these people have no place to stay."
-Memphis Minnie, 1929

Monday, August 29, 2005

The Bad Son

New Orleans, you made me like this. I'm sorry I'm not there with you right now, drunk and wet, knowing we might die tomorrow, and living like wild lightning tonight. I'll be there as soon as I can. I can bring sandbags or naked women, your choice.

Betsy, Camille, Katrina

I can't breathe today. My mind is focused on that red swirl, right now mindlessly, purposelessly tearing up what I love. Most of my family lives in its path. I haven't heard from most of them. My last contact was with my mom, in a voicemail she left me yesterday morning at dawn, telling me she was evacuating. It ended, her voice breaking in tears, "Pray for us, brother."

The eastern edge of the eye is the area you don't want to be in. It's the area that is right now over the home I bought for my mom this year. Is she safe? My little brother? Is the roof of her home, which she called Eden, now upturned in some swollen black swamp? Are my childhood photos driven by the blasting winds like nails into a pine tree nearby?

My family, mom, my little brother. They have so little, is even that now all gone?

Are they safe?