I realized with a start that today is the Katrina anniversary. Among hearing the plans of my friends and family for Gustav, I had forgotten. Last year it was quite vivid that it was THAT day. I had gotten my tattoo about 7 weeks before that and it was the first day of grad school. But it was still very clear to me that 2 years prior was the day the world seemed to end. Or my world, anyway. I have never experienced such upheaval, emotional or otherwise. And I can’t believe it was 3 years ago. It at once seems forever ago and just yesterday. It’s a strange feeling.
It’s true that I’m homesick and I don’t mind admitting it, but I really did have to get the hell out of town. Moving was the best thing that could have happened for me. I felt like I was getting pulled down into the emotional miasma that hovered over the cities. That level of despair, even small and under the surface, it was choking me.
And yet, I quite perversely miss worrying about the storms. Even as bad as the storms got or could have been, I never outgrew that little bit of excitement at an approaching storm. Even with remembering all the cleanup and inconvenience (Isisdore and Lily? Back to back? At my parents’ waterfront condo? Horrible!) I still felt a little giddy. Maybe I would feel differently if I were back home facing Gustav. Maybe the spectre of Katrina would have erased that. I don’t know.
Now, being in Austin, I’m one of the potential places for people to evacuate to. That’s a new feeling. I feel a little bad that our place is ill-equipped for this. We have 2 cats, one of which is on death’s door. This is not a place for dogs (every friend AND my parents seem to own at least one). So when I’m asked to put someone up (and I’ve gotten a few tentative requests), I have to say what we can and cannot handle. Never having been on this end of things, I’m not quite sure of the protocol.
What a weird anniversary to keep track of. Especially in light of the fact that on Monday, C and I will be celebrating our 9-year anniversary. That’s right, we celebrated our 6th while on the road from N. Louisiana to Florida in the most winding, gas-deprived trip of our life following Katrina.
Anyway, happy (or not) Katrina day, everybody.