29 July 2004


I’ve read that New Orleans is a beautiful city to live in. They sure weren’t writing about the New Orleans that I see every day. The smell of used cigarette smoke and car fumes‚ sometimes mixed with rotting seafood—the remains of some of yesterday’s tourists’ dinner. Trash filling the corners and cracks. Dogs wandering the streets trying to be invisible. Praying for food and water and shade. Homeless sitting in the heat on overturned buckets holding a please help me my children are starving god bless you sign. Needing money‚ but not bad enough to exert any effort at it. Or maybe enough people ignored them that they decided to make it easier.

Dead. That’s what the city looks like in real life. Used up and discarded. Hostile. Enough people everywhere‚ but like they know better than to look at you when you walk past and definately don’t expect a smile or a wave. They write city of the dead‚ and that feels right to me. But I know they don’t mean what I do by it.

That’s what I like about words and pictures. You can make it whatever you want. You can take a sad hell of a place and make it beautiful. Romantic. And people believe you unless they already know better. Maybe if I didn’t live here so long‚ then I would see with different eyes. Maybe.

27 July 2004


Isn’t if funny how a tiny vase of flowers can make your whole house a nicer place to live in?

26 July 2004


Today is the birthday of one of my very best friends in the world. I was thinking of her today and I realized that this makes ten years‚ give or take‚ that we have known each other. It made me think of a saying on a poster in my room‚ from many years ago when my walls were covered with posters. Wherever you go‚ whatever you do‚ it is your friends that keep your world safe. A pretty big job that is to keep someone’s world safe. But that little saying always stayed with me because something about it rings so true.

There’s something about someone who knows you‚ and knew you when‚ knows who you are and who you were. Because you don’t always know yourself. You forget things about yourself‚ but your friends remind you.

Like a while ago I was feeling down and like I was always afraid of everything‚ and an old friend of mine snapped me out of it. You do not worry about what you should do and what other people expect of you‚ you do what you know you need to do and don’t give it another thought‚ he said. Not exactly word for word‚ but that was the gist of it. And I was like‚ I do? And I remembered the old me‚ the me that was. The me that I still am deep inside.

See‚ there are people that let you experiment with different pieces of yourself‚ let you be someone else for a while‚ or make you into someone else for a while‚ and there are people who make you back into yourself. That keep you safe. And these are the special people‚ the ones you should never let go.

So‚ I have a card to send to her because there’s nothing like having someone remember your birthday to make you feel special. It is a card I could only send to her. It has a picture of a very snazzy half dressed boy on the cover and it says this man doesn’t care that you are another year older‚ he can’t count that high. And of course I know that is sexist and not politically correct‚ but it is still very funny and she will get a kick out of it.