Saturday, January 28, 2006

I am tired of writing about aftermath, and sad that there is one.

I cried over it this morning. I hadn't cried about it in a while. I was reading this article in the Washington Post, called "Post-Katrina Promises Unfulfilled," and got to this part:
"Beyond levees and housing, the region faces other huge challenges, Powell said, including jobs, schools and health care. One in every five Louisiana prime-rate mortgages is 30 days or more past due. One in six adults is unemployed. Only 15 percent of schools and 32 percent of hospitals are open in Orleans Parish, and one in three grocery stores and restaurants in the region are open."

And I realized that while I hadn't known the numbers, this wasn't news to me--that I'd grown accustomed to it, in fact--like my pre-Katrina, fatalistic self.

It is so easy to become fatalistic, though, when you are reminded, repeatedly--by the lack of response from the government, by the lack of change, by the daily-ness of making things happen in a city that still doesn't work--that this city will never be what it once was.

It is easy, too, when you know that most people out there haven't a clue, and frankly, don't much care to.

I have grown accustomed to the change. To the lack of change.

What does that say about who we are, as a country, and who I am, as a person, that those who don't live here have stopped caring, and that we, who do live here, have learned to deal?

In fact, so much of this aftermath has become like wallpaper. Wallpaper isn't the right word for it. I can't describe how it feels, really, to become used to a city in this state.

The news, the ads, the billboards--are all about rebuilding. There is a channel on cable devoted entirely to slide shows of devastation. There is my drive to work, where I am annoyed, now, by endless construction and orange cones. There is the way in which we avoid talk of homes and futures, particularly around our friend, Kim, who lost everything and has picked up smoking again. There is our anger, which has grown old and barely registers, these days. There is the banging, in the morning (and all day), of Mexican contractors repairing next door. My soundtrack. My alarm.

And still. I love this city like I can't even say. And I hate my president for lying. Again. God help us!

No comments: