Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hurricanes still suck

It's still so sad watching what's happening down South.

Can you imagine... an entire U.S. city basically wiped off the face of the Earth. Man, that just staggers the mind. To me, the scope of the disaster even dwarfs 9/11. And I don't mean that to take anything away from the tragedy of 9/11. But those couple of thousand lives were lost in a few buildings. This is an entire city, just destroyed. Horrifying. Tragic. Sickening.

I don't understand why people who could, didn't leave. I mean, if the mayor of Hillsborough told me to evacuate, there's a super-duper storm coming, I'd stuff my car full of clothes and toys and things, and I'd be on my way to Bloomsburg within the hour. So foolish. So sad.

At work today, two of my co-workers were saying how this was the first time they could ever remember the word "refugee" being applied to Americans.

And to think, when I was in New Orleans in February, we were getting drunk on "hurricanes." A pleasant memory becomes a bitter irony.

I keep thinking of the shotgirl at 711 Bourbon who was so nice to me that one night. I never even learned her name (well, I was probably just too drunk to remember). She was so cool. Young, and cute, and funny and friendly. She was engaged, I remember that, but she kept making me do shots out of various parts of her clothes anyway. I want to hang on to the good memories, and not think of the photos I keep seeing. I keep hoping she's OK, and she didn't lose everything. But I know she probably did. I just hope she didn't lose her life - she was so full of life, and I so badly needed to see that those days - or lose the guy who's lucky enough to have her. I hope they got out. Please, God.

I keep thinking of the people I met, and took pictures of, and smiled with, the shops I spent money in, the bars I drank in, just six months ago. The girl from LSU I danced with at 711. The folks in the shop that sold me my derby, down on the square, admission to my friend's Black Hat club. And all the people at the hotel and the restaurants who were so nice to me, even if I was some bead-throwing tourist schmuck.

I wasn't sure I'd ever want to go back for Mardi Gras, but I wanted to go back to the city, for the food, for the culture, for the fun. And now I will, when they rebuild. I promise, I'll go back, I'll drop my money and contribute to the local economy. Do my little part to help. We're Americans. We help each other, we bounce back. Like New York. I can't make anyone's pain any better, but I gave to the Red Cross and I'll hope and I'll pray, and someday, hopefully soon, I'll order up a bowl of that jambalaya and some BBQ oysters and raise a glass to that awesome city that once was and will be again.

And the worst part is, with Mother Nature, it's not like there's someone to blame. I told Kevin, one of those co-workers (who insisted I include him in my blog): At least with terrorism, you can bomb someone and feel better.

He said I'll be a Republican yet.

The Red Cross

Please donate to the relief efforts, even a little. I did. I went through Amazon and put it right on my debit card on file.


Travis said...

Really great entry Eric. I am going to donate some money too. After seeing the tragic images and hearing the pleading cries of everyone on TV I just find it hard to sit back and do nothing. All the best to you. Hope we can talk sometime.


ukredsox said...


Now I really wish that I'd made the effort to join you and Mark in New Orleans.

Maybe if/when the city is rebuilt I might make it there.