I posted the link to his essay earlier but just read it and had to paste in this paragraph:
Those of us who have migrated to the coasts of the country from its often maligned middle like to view our hometowns as time capsules. We fault them for being too fixed and too rigid, but we also enjoy the ability to slip back into familiar routines upon returning home. Both of those luxuries have been taken from me; New Orleans has spilled past the boundaries of my conflicted feelings for it. Those of us who are from there are being left with a storehouse of memories that have lost their physical referents.
I met up with Chris at his booksigning when in San Fran in March for 4Cs and we talked about home, Mardi Gras, and mutual friends. While we are two people who have moved and now have our parents close, knowing that those “familiar routines” no longer exist, and even when we can return to NOLA, not everyone will be there, is heartbreaking.
Everytime I’ve visited home lately, the best part was knowing where everyone would be or just running into them in any local bar. Walk down Bourbon and St. Ann, and Allen would always be tending bar and making the best “Sex on the Beach.” Roy would always be there emceeing Drag Bingo. Charlie, Jamie, and Sidney would always be at Pat O’Briens. I could go on but it hurts too much.
Back to denial.