Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hurricane season has lost its charm. And yeah, so I did, at one time, find it charming. So? Before Katrina, hurricane season lent a kind of romantic impermanence to life in this city. We knew we could one day be wiped off the map, but it made the up-until-then that much more like living. It was like an amped-up knowledge of mortality, is all, and it made me want to love and live more and harder. Back then, when hurricane season came around, I would chart the storms on a Fox 8 map that I attached with a magnet to our fridge, I would think about what I would take with me—what I’d want with me if it was all I’d have left in the world—and I'd wait for the "games" to begin.

Back then.

This year, Tropical Storm Chris, with his harmless name (how harmless “Katrina” once sounded!) and his not-yet-worthy-of-concern far-away-ness, already has me wary. Simon and I are scheduled to leave town for ten days, and we’d already planned to leave an “Evac-Pack” for the cat-sitters, but now we don’t know what we’ll do. We are supposed to leave on Sunday, when by-then Hurricane Chris will just be entering the Gulf, threatening everyone: Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. We likely won’t know whether New Orleans will be threatened until Tuesday at the earliest, and by then we will be camping high in the Smoky Mountains, away from cell phone towers and TV. So right now, the cats are coming with us. All four of them. We’ll take two cars, which sucks. We’ll take the cats and two cars and us and the following:

Photos and photo albums (including wedding stuff)
CD copies of all contents of both of our desktop computers
An envelope containing our birth certificates, passports, tax documents, copies of bills, etc.
My laptop
My dad’s guitar
My thesis and journals
Cat stuff (litters, treats, food, toys)
People stuff (a week’s worth of clothes, camping gear, etc.)
Whatever else we think of as we are packing these things that we can’t imagine parting with.

We’ll ask Tony to board the windows, and we’ll move any papers and/or electronics to higher ground in the house (I don’t think this works, though. I think everything floats and topples.) We’ll ask someone else to bring in the mail and to secure the trash cans and lawn furniture in the Shack (actually, we’ll do this before we leave). Then, we’ll be camping in North Carolina, wondering about home. I hate it. Another bleak entry in this very inconsistent post-K blog o’ mine.

Oh, the good news: Simon got a job! Let’s hope we both have one to return to.

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