So a few months ago, this writer moved to New Orleans. Back to Dixie, our birthplace, but a couple hundred miles further South. Bought a gutted house in the Lower 9th Ward. Not sure what we’re doing here … but at least it’s something different. And familiar.
An hour outside Moblie, on the way down the I-65 from the East Coast, the land gets a lot flatter really quickly. Swaths of stumpy ex-forests line the highway, clear-cut by hurricanes Katrina and Gustav. The trees have grown back some, maybe all for naught — maybe just to get swiped clean again.
Then, on the I-10 right before the big scary Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, the roads rise above the terrain, a sure sign we’re coming to the end of the earth. “Marssshhh” is the sound of land hitting water.
Why the F are we moving here? Will any one of the rainbows we chased end in a pot of something, anything, or will we drown first? … More practically, is it wise or folly to ride out a recession in the most recessed place there is?
Perhaps it’s instantly home-feeling to us because of our longtime love affair with the Mississippi, raised in Memphis as we were. Something to do with this being the view a few steps from our back yard.
There is no desire or strong grasping. Ideally, anyway. There is only the hope of survival in the now-here. Safety in the eye of the storm. Farewell to the family who still do amazing stuff way far away. We’re setting up a satellite camp. The well ran dry, but the river never will.
Whether we rise to the top and float is another matter entirely.
Lovely, lovely filth. Chaos provides.
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