As I sit in my cubicle at work, which has sprung a third wall and window-paneling in the past week (don’t ask), I’m tortured by the thought of a world out there that I cannot help and a pretty sunny day that I cannot take advantage of. I know I am repeating myself, but the thought of my friends and parents returning to NOLA every other day to find what is left, and even hearing from Tom how he feels like his has tunnel vision since everything is OK on his street but he sees so much in nearby areas that probably will never be rebuilt, hurts me so much. It is probably normal that these emotions come in waves, but last night was rough. I started thinking about how I will never sleep in my room at home again and I couldn’t stop crying. While some kids moved around and changed schools, I always lived in the same house and friends who knew I had moved to Boston and then Tampa but didn’t know how to get in touch me ALWAYS were able to find my parents at 5766 Cameron Blvd. We always had the same phone number and it will remain in my cellphone under “home” forever.
And I don’t think anyone here gets it. Yes, the stories are still in the media every day, and everyone knows that my parents are safe and lucky to have our house in Mississippi to relocate to, but we dealing with the daily reminders of filling out FEMA applications and forwarding mail and waiting for insurance adjusters to NOT screw us over, etc.
Tina told me some things last week that I feel are worth mentioning here. She lives in LaPlace, LA and finds the whole no-bid contracts thing very fishy. A friend of hers who is a retired Navy man and now unemployed after the storm wiped away his job [not sure what the current one was], waited in line to apply for work and was flat out told, “We’re only hiring Mexicans.” I’m scared that so many of the people rebuilding the Gulf Coast aren’t the people from that area who know how it should be preserved, and more importantly, need the work to start rebuilding their lives! Thank goodness there has been a change of mind as noted in “FEMA pledges to reassess no-bid contracts,” but I want to hear more good stories from actual residents rather than these sketchy ones.
I’ve got to get back to work before the boss comes around and starts complaining that we need to get more cases out. Quality over quantity, lady!
But here are my closing thoughts: I’m putting any academic focus I have left into studying and researching online responses to the Hurricane, whether the kairotic response on Craig’s List or the ethos of the blogs at Metroblogs: NOLA or The Interdictor.
I can’t wait to read and research for that this weekend..
Speaking of schooling, can someone drive down St. Claude Avenue and please tell me that the campus of my high school, the Academy of the Holy Angels, is still standing and not too wet!
Oh! And before I forget, you have to go read “Southern literature and the meaning of Britney’s bra” in the Times-Picayune by Chris Rose. A funny piece but he poses a serious question in my book!
Why are all of America’s smartest people sitting alone in library carrels and coffee shops trying to change the world with written words while people whose primary accomplishment in life was to make a pile of money get to actually run the world?