Saturday, August 29, 2009


I was aware of it, of course, but I didn't really feel it, until I walked into Barnes & Noble after work, and in a pile on the very front table were dozens of copies of that book, that graphic novel A.D. New Orleans after the Deluge by Josh Neufeld. And I suddenly realized, really realized, Oh, my god, this is it. This is the anniversary of Katrina. Four years ago today.

I hadn't really wanted to think about it. I certainly hadn't planned on memorializing it. Now here it was smacking me in the face.

I picked up the book -- it fell open to a page where a woman, a survivor, finds her cat crying with a broken leg after the storm. I absolutely cannot stand to read or see about animals being hurt or suffering. Certainly not in that context.

The gates of memory opened. The anguish and the horror flooded over me. I remembered what it felt like in baton rouge those days.

Goddamn it! I planned to get through this day without crying. That's why I had tuned it all out. i had to go hide in the bathroom for a while.

I bought the book -- but i don't know if I'll ever be able to read it. I haven't read any of the Katrina books, except 1 Dead in Attic -- I was able to read it because I had already read many of the columns online or in the paper, and it was salted witha liberal dose of gallows humor. But the rest are just ... too ... upsetting.

I've written about this before, how useless I think it is to drag up all that grief and rage that will never be resolved. But sometimes you don't drag it up. It drags you down. Like today.