Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My days are strange.

Life seems to be one big ol' conspiratorial plot designed to get my sorry rear outta bed and exiting my home. And it doesn't help that my husband is away on a business/family trip until Thursday or thereabouts.

I miss him. So much.

It isn't easy to focus on what I have to do without him, I know that now. I crave his presence, his listening ear, his sometimes sardonic, mostly considerate comments on the things I'm doing, as well as the crazy things that happen to him at work, or on his monster commute.

(When he went back to work after the storm, his trip on I-10 over to Baton Rouge was fine - until he got to his exit. The traffic light there was out, and it turned what was normally an excruciatingly long nearly four-minute wait for a traffic light under "normal" conditions into a forty minute crawl from the beginning of the off-ramp to just past the dead traffic light. If it were me in the middle of that mess, I would have gone seriously postal when I got to work that day just from the insanity. Hell, I'm glad he came home in one piece that night, and that he still had his sense of humor with him.)

When there was a possibility, early on last week, that we would have to evacuate again to make way for Hurricane Ike, he reminded me of his upcoming trip to the northwest, and I was suddenly forced to face the idea that Oh, NO, I would have to do the evacuation thing all by myself.

It was bad enough to try to regain some sort of balance and routine on our return from the Gustav evacuation (and, once Greg Peters' latest Suspect Device comic on the Gustav evac is available online, you can bet I'll be linking to it. I wanna blow that sucker up and frame it to hang up in a prominent place in my household. Too, too funny, and too true regarding the paranoiac tactics of Hizzoner the Walking Id during this latest mass exodus from New Orleans...) without being confronted by the variable my husband's absence presented. Wondering if I really ought to go shopping for more perishables that we'd tossed out into our huge city-sponsored garbage cans, stuff that was contributing to the serious stink in the city streets. Thinking I really ought to take the clothes I was washing straight out of the dryer and back into the suitcase. Wanting to quit straddling the fence once again - should I be watching those damned spaghetti models again with every few passing hours, or should I see/hear/speak no tropical evils and take my son back and forth to school like this storm season ain't no thang?

I am here, without Dan at the moment, to say that equilibrium for me is so, so hard to find - almost like my good man was so hard for me to find for twenty-six years or so. I am nearly - nearly - too far gone to care again about the things that got me going, and I am doing everything in my power to get those juices flowing again. This isn't easy.

What helps here?

-Getting the little guy up and out of bed in the early mornings for school
-Walking the dog mornings and afternoons
-Reading, reading, and more reading, though I am finding I must lay off the Tweeter Tube a bit, as it is seriously killing my attention span - waaay more than Google could ever make me stupid. In that sub-category of reading are the usual suspects:
  1. The NOLA blogpocheh
  2. Twitter
  3. Other blogs around and about the interwebs
  4. library books
  5. books I vowed not to buy, but couldn't help myself
  6. Da Times-Pick-Yer-Nose
  7. My subscription to The Oxford American. Yeah, this latest issue of theirs is dedicated to New Orleans, and it mostly gets it. When it is good, it is damned good. There is an essay by Lolis Eric Elie in there that ends with a few paragraphs that will now have to stand alongside Lafcadio Hearn's now-famous and much-bandied-about 1879 quotation on the state of New Orleans, it is that good. There are many other standouts within its pages as well - but they are dancing 'round some land mines with an essay entitled "Quartered: Has New Orleans Produced Great Literature?" by William Caverlee. Yes, there is a disclaimer at the very beginning: Mention the phrase "New Orleans writer" to a native of the city, and the names offered in nomination will come back at you fast. But who has been left out? One of the olden greats, like George Washington Cable or Lafcadio Hearn? Or a contemporary from the list of fine writers that seems to grow by the season: Ellen Gilchrist, Richard Ford, John Biguenet, Tom Piazza, Nancy Lemann, Moira Crone...Put six names on a list and ten have been left off. But hey, people, it all goes downhill from there. No mention of Patty Friedmann? Poppy Z. Brite? Michael Tisserand's Sugarcane Academy? Year Zero and Life In The Wake by NOLAFugees? Dedra Johnson's Sandrine's Letter To Tomorrow???? Calling Marc Smirnoff...which leads me to...
-Emailing. The City Council, for starters. About the resumption of the process for approval or rejection of housing demolitions that the Walking Id had suspended for Gustav's arrival and aftermath in these parts.
-Attending a meeting tonight at my son's school concerning the Recovery School District's Facilities Mash-Up Plan and how it will affect our school. One of the two school buildings is slated to be "phased out" of use in a few years' time, cutting our facilities exactly in half. And they call that reducing maintenance. I call it the destruction of a good school.
-Must not forget any help I can give to these folks in great need at this time.
-Worrying about the recovery of this great fried catfish eatery, which was written up in the latest OA as well.
-Going to get the little guy from school
-Invariably watching Apollo 13 for the bazillionth time. I started looking on Netflix for other space documentaries/movies just to mix things up a bit. It's kinda tough to dress up outer space after a while. Everything becomes black, white, and shades of gray and institutional/government-sponsored colors within the command and lunar modules, with the exception of the big blue marble on which we live. I now find myself craving those parts of the movie that are showing Mission Control and the Lovell household, because the variety of colors there is much more pleasing to my eye. You can take this girl outta art training, but you can't take the art training outta the girl.
-Cooking meals or heading out of the house for 'em.
-Getting us all ready for bed. Trying to get my son to actually sleep in his. Dodging all of his new excuses for why he needs to sleep in mine. My personal fave recently was his fear of a plastic stingray toy that was designed and molded to have all of its teeth wide open in a menacing yaw, and it just happened to be positioned in such a way for the little guy to see it and get freaked out. The ray from hell is now up on my dresser and out of his line of vision.
-Sleeping like an airplane until the next day's alarm goes off at least four times.

Dan, honey, please come home.

x-posted at Humid City, and beaucoup mercis to founder, webmaestro, and birthday boy Loki on allowing this crazy Jewish broad to keep posting over there...

3 comments:

Kevin Allman said...

That Caverlee essay sounds like a thankless task -- as you suggest, somebody (or a good number of somebodies) is gonna get left out.

To your list I'll add Tom Dent, and bet a cookie (or a good number of cookies) that he wasn't even mentioned.

And I'll say that Patty Friedmann is the most underrated writer in town.

virgotex said...

David Foster Wallace - Commencement Speech at Kenyon College

good quick read, about a favorite topic of mine- attention and reality. I hadn't ever seen it until after his death this week.

might be a kind of palate cleanser

hang in there.

Maitri said...

Hugs back, love.

(and when do we invent the HinJew Name Generator?)