Feeble Knees

Sunday, August 28, 2005


Can't seem to tear myself away from the news coverage of Hurricane Katrina. It seems like the unthinkable is about to happen before our eyes. When all is said and done, will there still be a city of New Orleans on the face of the earth?

To listen to the news reports, one might think not.

An old friend of mine lived there in of the middle of N'awlins for several years. I've lost touch with her in the past couple of years, and though I've heard reports that she moved east to Florida in the not too distant past, I know that she, like many others, is under the Big Easy's spell. She's tried to leave before, only to find herself inexplicably drawn back to it. Once she told me a story about a girl who came to visit her there for a few days. On her way back to the northeast, the girl snapped. She abandonded her traveling companions and was later apprehended, babbling and incoherent, while trying desperately to board a bus heading back south... My friend laughed about it then, laughed about the mysterious pull, the dark obsession that chains people to the place.

I hope she's not there. I pray she's not there. I'm scared to death she may be there, down on Bourbon street throwing back daquiris. It would not surprise me if she decided that this would be the way to check out of a life that all went to crap years ago.

I'm watching lines of stranded people, people with no where else to go, queueing up outside the Super Dome and I feel sick to my stomach. I hear predictions of thirty foot storm surges overrunning the levess, flooding the city with toxic spills and the remains of corpses buried in above ground graves. As the storm advances closer, it seems inevitable that there will be a direct hit this time. The absolute nightmare scenario could come to pass.

The rain has begun to fall. They're starting to close the only bridges out of town. Parties are starting down on Bourbon street. One hundred thousand people are stranded in the city with no way out. Elderly. Sick and disabled. Poor. Mommas and babies, children. Heroic National guard, medical and emergency personnel...




God have mercy. Dear Lord have mercy.
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