Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Return To The Lower Nine Part 1.

For twenty years I lived at 5461 St. Claude St. in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana. My parents and grandmother worked their ass off to pay off the shotgun double they shared and it was that fact that made me feel like I would never be homeless. It was ours. Tomorrow morning I return this house for the first time since Hurricane Katrina ripped the heart out of that neighborhood. I have been to New Orleans since the storm but never across the canal. The only thing I can compare how I feel right to is a funeral. I told my brothers and sisters when they planned this ride I had two rules to follow. The first rule is we are not going into the house of my grandmother Geraldine who is still missing and lived next door. There is a possibility that her body may still be in there and none of us deserve to see her decomposing remains. The second rule is that we are not going anywhere near my other grandparents' house because my grandfather passed away in March and the last time I was there was for my grandmother Mildred's 85th birthday party and that's what I want to remember about that area. I can only handle one traumatic event at a time and my childhood home will be enough. I don't expect to get anything or see anything positive. I guess it's for us to get some closure. Since we all slept five deep to one queen size bed growing up, it's only right we go together. I'll be back Friday for part 2.

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