Monday, October 29, 2012


So, one tree is down three doors from my parents' house, which knocked out the block's power, and the neighbors across the way from them almost--almost--had a tree come down right on top of their house, too, with my parents--no whammies--and their property unscathed so far. The local fire department secured the tree with some metal apparatus, using another tree as a pulley, if I'm visualizing the description correctly--quite an operation. It's at least good this all happened before dark.

Me: Were they able to get out and spend the night elsewhere after that?

My mother, who is understandably a bit frazzled: Of course! You don't stay in a house with a tree hanging over it.

Me: Um.

There is this ongoing at-times comical, at-times exasperating disconnect (with this time being comical) I experience with regard to expected norms not only for real life but for disaster conditions. I stayed in a house with a tree hanging over it during Katrina, a house that also had a tree inside it, i.e., one that had fallen atop the attic on the other side of my friend's parents' house in Diamondhead, Mississippi, the only place I could afford to evacuate to. Why? Because I was poor and it was free, speaking of disconnect from people with more normal life histories, who I sometimes hear exclaim in horror in regular life over the prospect of experiencing things that, hey look at that, I've experienced, with this particular disconnect feeling more pronounced on the East Coast, something I've struggled with here as opposed to, of course, in New Orleans and also out West. Sometimes, I just don't say anything because to me, these occurrences are not downsides and I don't feel like having them rejiggered as if they are. There can be peace in leaving that phone off the hook certain days.

It is, and always will be, the case that time and time again since 2005, when I was absolutely euphoric to be alive, I find myself happy for my people making it through calamities as opposed to being upset by the calamaties themselves, making for a weird but, for me, vital kind of optimism that is not always well received. But, you know, things are just that: things. You: irreplaceable and



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