Yesterday our good friend Adam called from Holy Cross. He was standing outside our house, where he confirmed the reports of several other friends: all is well. There were several cars on the street, and the drone of a generator provided the afternoon soundtrack. Mr. Taylor sent a hello to us from his porch, where he was seeking relief from the heat in his home. Was there anything we could bring him when we returned from Atlanta, Simon asked (via Adam)?
"Yeah. A generator and a case of Heinekken."
"That could get expensive," Simon said. "How about we bring you one or the other?"
"Okay, then bring me a generator so I can keep my Heinekken cold."
Yes, the power was--and is still--out in our neighborhood. In other areas, electricity has been coming on fast. On Twitter, a friend posted, "all sitting in the dark and stuff and woof! The power comes on."
I remember how that happened all the time when we returned after Katrina. We'd be just settling in to have no power for several hours (again), and then it'd startle us when it returned.
Being home right after that storm (I feel like I can't call it "The Storm" anymore, now that there's Gustav) had an adventure-ness to it. We cooked on our Coleman stove with the doors and windows open. We drove to friends' houses to take showers. We talked about where we'd been, who we'd lost, and how we hoped the city would move on. At night, when the power went out, we emerged from our houses onto our stoops and watched the moon turn slate rooftops silver. Or at least this is how my memory colors it now, and that's probably just because this time around I am much less enthused about returning to the outages, to the heat, and to the iffy future.
In Atlanta I've been playing Auntie Sarah. Auntie Sarah has the mojo when it comes to her nephew. She sings him R&B songs about "nekkid time" when she changes his diaper. She puts his ass to sleep, like pronto. Auntie Sarah loves being Auntie Sarah. She'll miss it when she goes back to New Orleans tomorrow.
I've also been trolling the internet for any kind of useful news and finding none. Nola.com has posted an "Entergy updates" page which tell me nothing specific about my neighborhood. Today it says that all of Orleans Parish should have power by tomorrow, but it said the same thing of Saturday two days ago. I hope Adam will return to Holy Cross to give me updates.
In the meantime I have gotten a message from my employer that reports that they are "excited" that power has been restored to the UNO campus, and then, "You must report to work at 8 a.m. on Monday, September 8th." Is it too much to expect my employer to acknowledge our not having power yet--too much to ask the Chancellor to express some gratitude for my returning without A/C, hot water, or refrigeration? Or am I being a whiner?
Also in the meantime: Hurricane Ike watching. New Orleans is now in Ike's "Cone of Uncertainty" (or "Cone of Error"). I feel like that would be a better name for this blog: "Blog of Uncertainty," especially now that I am realizing that I'm writing in a post-K and post-G era, not just a post-K one.
I worry that folks won't evacuate if we stay this way--in the path of Ike--after having had such a hard time evacuating for Gustav. Here, in fact, is an editorial about what many see as a botched evacuation: http://www.nola.com/living/index.ssf/2008/09/the_next_time_my_family_will_s.html
...The girl from across the street just came over. Her cat died last night and she wants to see ours... My next post may be from New Orleans, my home of uncertainty.