Saturday, April 19, 2008
The Lone Story Teller
I meet allot of different people from all over the city through my job. When people in New Orleans meet for the first time these days, they introduce themselves and share their Pre-Katrina status. No one seems to be in the same place during the same thing. Last week there was a lady in one of my trainings that happens to go to my grandmother’s old church in the Lower Ninth Ward. She is a transplant who moved here after the storm to help people and she just joined the church recently. I gave her my grandmother’s name and ever since then she’s been sending me emails to come to service one weekend and talk to some of the people over there. I will not be going to any of the services. I hope I don’t like a jerk for saying that but I have a rare condition called Bad Katrina News Syndrome. I just made that up so none of you therapist better not steal my name. I have two parents, two sisters, and two brothers. We all lived in the same house for more than 25 years. My grandmother lived next door. Out of those eight people I am the only one back in the city. Do you know what it’s like to replay this story over and over again every time I see someone that knows one of them? “How’s your mama?” “How’s your daddy?” “What happened to your grandma?” “Where’s your brother?” “What are you going to do with the house?”. It happens all the time. I remember when I used to go check on the house. Whenever I would go down there it would take less than a minute for someone to drive up asking questions. My cousin Veronica found me on the internet and asked about everybody. It took me two weeks to reply to her email. I get so tired of doing it that sometimes I see friends of theirs and purposely go the other way or turn my head so they won’t see me and I have to get into the story all over again. It’s not the people fault. They are just being concerned. It’s not my family’s fault either. I guess that’s what happens when you are the only dummy to move back down here. At least if I was out of town and people ask me I could chalk it up to being nosey and cuss them out. I can’t do that to my distance cousins that find me on the internet. I can’t do that to those old ladies that used to stand at the bus stop with my grandma or one of my mama ex-coworkers. Oh well, I guess I should do like the rest of these folks around me who didn’t really lose anything but material items and act like everything is cool again. Maybe the next time someone asks me how my grandmother is doing I will show them a picture of my new bathroom. At least I won’t have to look at the sad look on their face when I tell them what happened. I’m not tripping about it. This is nothing to a soldier. This is all part of my everyday routine these days.