Friday, May 19, 2006

Weird Considerations and Fleeting Thoughts

I said yesterday that I was under the weather. Well, that was a fact. Turned out that the "thing" ripping my guts out as we moved into our new house was a kidney stone. Something the size of a grain of sand that has slowed my progress in getting settled---infuriating. Anyone who knows me knows I don't do illness well. I get impatient with its limitations of my activities. But here in New Orleans, where only 1 of 4 (or 1 of 5 depending on which article you read) doctors have returned since the storm, an illness presents a series of problems, not the least of which is where is a doctor? With our health insurance gone, money also became a consideration. Do we go to an ER? Is there an ER open yet? As of a couple months ago we still only had the little trauma center down on Calliope. As it turns out, Tulane's ER is up and running. That's a good thing, but it hadn't dawned on us to check until we thought we might need one. Turned out I didn't need one, but my husband looked at me at one point and said, "If I have to take you to an ER, I don't have a clue where to take you." That's when we found out Tulane was indeed open. A weird consideration that's probably not happening in other major cities.

Weird considerations that turn up in conversation:
"If another storm comes, and we leave a car here, do we park it in the driveway behind the locked fence or leave it on the street?" "I dunno, why ya asking?" "Well if we leave it in the street it could be stolen, or worse." "True." "But if we put it in the driveway, and it's a big storm, it could just come right through the house or the gigantic pecan tree could fall on it." "Also true." Opt for the street. Stolen car or siphoned gas is better than car on the roof. We've seen enough cars on the roof for one lifetime. Easier to replace the car than the house.

"I might have to leave New Orleans." "Why? You're doing okay!" "Yes, but my landlord just raised my rent from $1400 to $2000 a month." (I also saw postings about this kind of thing on Times Picayune's message boards. Seems to be a rash of this sort of thing.) "Oh my god! What are you going to do?" "I don't know, but I can't pay that kind of rent. I might have to leave." What the market will bear. Okay, but the people ARE the market and what happens if the people can't bear that?

Mayoral Debate WWL-TV last night:
Two bald guys, one black, one white, with shining pates (where WERE those makeup girls with their powder?) saying almost the same thing. This has been, overall, a very civil campaign and I'm grateful for that. The candidates did seem to understand that the nation was watching this election. Two very sincere, intelligent men of service answering questions that seemed of more local interest (imagine that in a mayoral campaign!) than the assault by Chris Matthews the other night. For many of us it's still a tough call. Nagin went through this mess with us. My husband and I stood up and cheered as he cussed on the radio asking for help down here. We love the guy's sheer ballsiness and we don't doubt for a minute that he has New Orleans' best interests at heart. But as I've said before, I think he's burned too many bridges to be effective at the state and local levels. Landrieu also seems to have a genuine love for our city. Hell, he'd have to to even want this job at this time. When all is said and done, I think this is going to be a very very close race. If Nagin wins, I think he'll have a very hard time getting federal and state money that is needed down here. If Landrieu wins, I think his administration will be scrutinized within an inch of its life. Both of them have been gentlemen in this campaign. I think, as each of them loves to say, "at the end of the day", Landrieu will win because of his connections, or in spite of his connections. Whichever way you choose to view that.

Lucy Bustamante asked an interesting question, and they both answered tellingly. The question was something like: "Which politician in the last hundred years do you most respect or see as a role model?" Neither skipped a beat, Nagin answered first. Nagin's answer: Dutch Morial. Landrieu's answer: Moon Landrieu. The racial and dynastic questions thrown at them during this entire campaign were almost symbolically played out in those two answers.

Meanwhile, fellow blogger Mark of the Wet Bank Guide noticed a slacking off of bloggers in NOLA. He wonders in his latest post whether we're all too busy or too tired. He, in turn, tells us to read, if we haven't, a most amazing post from Traveling Mermaid. I did. It's beautiful. For any of us who are sick of listening to our own thoughts on life in a post-Katrina world, or for anyone who just needs to know there are others out there in the same post-K state of mind, the Mermaid's post is a kick in the butt. She reminds us that we will rise up, that indeed, we MUST rise up. Thanks to both of them for the kick.

So while we who live here sometimes feel like we're in the middle of a badly cut John Carpenter movie, we have to understand that our weird considerations and fleeting thoughts are part of post-K zeitgeist.

And hey, we have an election tomorrow and there's an ER open. Little steps. Little steps.

No comments: