21 September 2005

spanish for home

here i am again, home at last, in the newly acquired sense of the word. meaning i'm back at the same hotel for the fourth time in three weeks, lights off tucked into my kingsized bed while my boyfriend spends some qt with his kids. i'm not sure if i like these days holed away by myself, eating burgers and shakes from whattaburger for lunch and dinner. i don't dislike being by myself. but it all seems to feel a little, i don't know, pathetic? plus, nothing is good on tv or the internet. he'll call my room to go outside and smoke a cigarette, but then one of his kids will open the door and i'll feel so out of place, so separate, that i decide next time i'll say no. but then next time i go again. and i'm bored, too. not just with texas, with the whole bit. i've done this long enough. i've read three novels in the last two weeks. i'm ready for life to begin again. ready to salvage what i can and move on with it. enough already.

13 September 2005


I am back at work in Houston. It's for a week, I can leave friday. can you believe it? they're talking about living back in New orleans in a week. can you believe that? i'm not sure what i think. good old st. bernard is gone. but maybe, just maybe, my little apartment survived. maybe my boyfriend's apartment, where i mostly lived anyway let's be honest, survived. it's weird to even think about going back. i don't want to. this is a great time to change. that's what i think. maybe life is going to go back to normal, i'm not sure if i can stand that. i was thinking maybe san fransisco, maybe boston, maybe new york city. maybe, maybe, everything open, and now it's depressing to think it's just going to be more of the same. but not the same. how can i stand it anymore, seeing everything change and not like it should be at all? funny how my family wants to go back and can't and i don't want to and we'll have lights on by monday. ironic? how is life working out like this, it's crazy. i'm not doing this again.

10 September 2005

no one is looking for me

i remember doing this after september 11. after the towers fell. looking through post after post. people missing their loved ones, wanting to know if anyone had seen or heard from them. desprately trying to connect. i wanted to feel something. wanted to make it real.

it's different this time. posts that just bring up questions. my high school boyfriend, his mom trying to find him. my date to the eighth grade dance, his wife wanting to know if anybody's seen him. my own grandma, her cousin wanting to know where she is. and dozen's more people i knew once upon a time. people i can see in my mind. names i have heard all of my life. missing mostly, or searching. haven't even started to think about all the people that were part of my everyday life, neighbors, co-workers, waiters at my favorite restaurants, people i'll likely never see again. maybe i'll never even know if they are alive or dead.

that's the thing about all this, worry and sadness, happiness to i guess. it comes in layers. first my mom, sister, brother, neice. two days to hear from them. then my dad, he was the worst. essential personnell. that first phone call. i went to bed feeling like i was floating on air. alive. then i could start worrying about him getting out ok. the crime started. i could hear in his voice he wasn't sure he would make it. that first message, because of course our phones didn't work. somehow he could leave messages at night. then i could start worrying about my very best friends. then regular friends. the worry came in layers. it took me a week to worry about pets and apartments and houses. that's the thing about all of this. there really are no regrets because every time you turn on the television or the internet you are forced to remember how lucky you are. how much worse it is for so many people, my own family and friends. i can't complain. everything's relative, isn't that the rule of the world?

tomorrow to houston. another hotel for a week and then who knows what. i'm ready to know. i'm ready to see my family. just to hug them. see my nieice. remind her how much i love her.


tomorrow is one of my best friend's birthday. all i want is for something good to come on tv so that i can forget about all the sadness in the world. pathetic. red-eyed. she took the day off of work for her birthday and watched the news all day. how can you be happy about a day that caused so much pain to so many people, even now, still causing pain. let's roll. that's what the sign we passed on the lawn in said. let's roll. the last thing he said before he hung up the cell phone. funny i never heard that before.

i've been trying not to think. i've been eating donuts and chips and trying not to think, but it's not working. i finished reading the secret life of bees. it didn't help. just made me feel like everyone else is sad too.

everything i own fits into a little duffle bag. i keep thinking will i try to replace my books? cds? movies? whenever i was depressed at home, i watched clueless or amelie. over and over. for some reason it helped. or read the same books, looked at over and over. i keep thinking how much i miss my books. then i get scared i won't even remember which ones i had there on the shelves. and how can you say you miss something when you can't even think of it? can't put your finger on it? i feel like i need to make a list, quickly, before i forget everything. then i feel bad for even thinking something so stupid. i think i am lonely.


these are the things that i miss. i miss being around my family. i miss knowing where i'm going to be tomorrow, next week, a month from now. i miss brushing my teeth at night, walking to the cd player to turn on mazzy star. i miss driving. i miss escaping to my apartment. i miss the pictures on the walls, me and rachel at the st. patrick's day parade, baby isabel, florence. i miss my sister. i miss my books, my journals, the pink chinese one especially and the black leather one with tiny lines. my photo albums. i miss the theater. rehearsals. i miss my auquamarine birthday necklace and my orange coat. i miss going downstairs to smoke and following him to work in the mornings. i miss our little life, that is what i miss the most.

day 15

the truth? i've always hated chalmette. always. but i never thought it would cease to be there. always thought it would remain, a godforsaken marker of where i come from. a reminder. who's from a place that no longer exists? it's ridiculous. i always thought that i would leave, but i never thought that there would be nothing to go back to.

without your past you are nothing. that's what i feel like. i see these people on tv. i'm lost, he said. it's heartbreaking. we are throwaway people, the girl said. the forgotten parishes, cnn said. i have to remind myself that they are talking about me too.

05 September 2005

i want to go home

for the first time in over a week, i am alone. i am sitting in a hotel room. for the first time in my life, i am alone in my own hotel room. i miss my family. it's been years since i've gone this long without seeing them. and knowing that i have no car for now, no way to get there to them, makes it so much worse.

after a week of searching the internet for lost loved ones, parish news, and fema, i read my favorite blogs. after endless days of katrina on cnn, i have etv turned on the television. i picked up a cosmo magazine for the hot new sex tips headline. but it isn't working. i'm at that point at the end of the trip, when you just want to go home. when you want your bed, your crappy house, your own bathroom. you just want home. that's where i am, and there is no home to go back to. it really sucks.

and yes, i know how lucky i am to be alive.

what a week

what a week. that's all i can say. things have changed so so so much, it's still pretty unfathomable to me. the last year has been a journey, i was learning the unimportance of material things, the importance of letting go and moving on and change. Of making the best of the situation, of living for yourself, of not caring what people think, and of following my heart. of Believing in what is right for me and not what people say is right. of just doing what feels right.

this last year has so prepared me for this last week. when i moved out of my house, i left him all of the furniture. i lived there for five months, in my little apartment that i loved so much, with a twin bed, bare windows and floors, and two cushions to sit on in the living room. and i loved the birds outside of the window, the view of the spanish tiled roof next door, the old stairway and double entryway. people either thought i was selfless or stupid for leaving everything, but it was neither. i knew that all that "stuff" wasn't important to me but was very important to him. i tried to do the best for everyone in a situation that wasn't my fault, but wasn't his either. after four months, I bought a little red sofa that i adored. i got my signed poster from tokyo hotel framed, along with my undergraduate degree that i finally finished in may. i hung them up a few weeks ago along with some old pictures of when my grandma and grandpa were young, my sister and i dressed up for mardi gras, and the marker line drawing bell made for me.

I'm digressing. I can barely remember which day it is, much less stick to one thought. So, now i have nothing. I left last Saturday for a one or two day trip to the lake. I packed a few bathing suits, shorts, jeans and t-shirts. I brought essentially nothing. i didn't even drive my own car. and now, that's it. i've been living since the hurricane with my friend's parents, sleeping on their sofa. they have been so wonderfully kind and welcoming, which i knew from the first few times we've met. things are so unimportant. everything's gone, my work, my home, the theater, everything i've ever known.

my family, who are in another state, has lost everything. my father, a kind, strong, brave man, wakes up at night after dreaming of the horror in the hosptial that he barely escaped from. for three days, i waited for his calls, prayed that he would be evacated and come safely home, in the new sense of the word since we are actually homeless. some of his crew left, he said, but he stayed behind because of his "obligation" to the patients. he reached a point where he thought that brave decision might have been the worse mistake of his life. he sounds broken, now when i talk to him, it kills me. he sounds like a zombie... telling the same story over and over. my father who was always the rock of the family, who still has to figure out a life for my mom, sister, brother, niece, has to pull some semblance of a life together while for the first time homeless, jobless, and severely underinsured. for me, it's scary, but liberating, exciting, the start of something new. for him, it's scary and utterly devastating. the uprooting may be worse than the mental trauma.

i've cried so many times over this last week, but not anywhere close to what I would have thought. i've tried to be strong, do what i can, help where i could, and sound ok for the sake of my family. i've felt so helpless, but tried to act so strong. maybe it worked, i don't know. it's so strange to see the place you've lived your entire life completely devastated. it's strange, sad, everything in one. it's heartbreaking. but at the same time, i feel so incredibly lucky that everyone is alive and physically safe, although i am worried--my family was barely making it mentally and emotionally as it were, before natural disasters destroying everything.

bell wants to know where her toys are, where her nana is, when her house can stop "swimming" so she can go home. i never dreamed that i wouldn't see her on her third birthday. it broke my heart. i called to tell her happy birthday; she answered the phone and said i don't want to talk. it broke my heart. they were living in a hotel room. twelve people in one room. the restaurant next door gave them free lunch. they gave bell a cake, and a little party. they gave my mom a walmart certificate to buy her a present. it just breaks my heart. you just never think this will happen.