by angeliska on October 7, 2005

Hey look! It’s another fucking eulogy!

I’ve gone this last month trying valiantly to keep
an optimistic attitude intact- and for awhile,
it really worked. I believed it would all be okay.
So many people I knew returned to their homes
dreading the possibility of utter ruin only to find
everything surprisingly intact. I had convinced
myself that I was one of those lucky ones.
That because my neighborhood didn’t flood
or catch on fire, because it was on higher ground
and I was on the second floor,
that maybe I had nothing to worry about.

I was wrong.
My friend Myrtle got into my house
the other day and gave me the bad news.
The ceilings fell in, raining
rubble and plaster and insulation.
Water poured in, mold covering everything.
Furniture ruined, clothes moldy, anything
organic shot to hell, meaning all taxidermy-
peacock, two-headed duck, mummified cat
all gone.

Every letter I ever received.
Every piece of art I ever made.
Everything my mother left me
when she died, the dresses she sewed.
My great-grandmother’s quilt.

All treasures, all memories, all belongings,
all altars, all heirlooms, all history
shit on by this fucking storm.

My identity wiped away in one fell swoop,
my whole life’s work, collection, artifacts..
All gone.

It’s not just stuff, either.
I don’t want to hear another
single goddamn zen koan parable
about impermanence and objects.
I will come to my own understanding in time.
But it’s going to take a long while,
and right now I’m just utterly broken.

I’ve had nearly everything I held dear
torn away from me this year.
Things are not okay, I am not okay.
I am strong and will survive this
along with everything else I’ve survived,
but it’s going to take a lot to rebuild myself.
And the horror is far from over.

I’m going back in the next few days to slog
through the filth and try to salvage whatever
non-porous items I can.
Anyone who will be down there and can help
will be sainted and knighted immediately.
The physical, mental and emotional strain
of this will is as of yet unimaginable for me.

I feel sick already, and I have yet to inhale
or absorb a single toxic mold spore.
Any other help or support is also much needed
at this time- I’m at the bottom of the rock-bottom,
my hope is shattered, and I don’t think I’ll ever
be the same after this.

These are the last images I have
of my home the way I remember it,
though I’m sure there might
be others out there somewhere-
and this is really only my bedroom and bathroom,
but I think you get the idea that
I was a celebrated packrat,
that my home and my things
were an extension of myself,
and expression of who I was,
a magical act of everyday living
in beauty, in rarity, in memory
of another world.
Now I just want to go back there,
to lay on my bed in the sun,
sit on my balcony and daydream.
I can never go home again,
because what I will return to
will be my worst nightmare,
and I am the absolute worst
person for this to happen to,
because that’s all I had.
It’s cold and raining suddenly here,
and I don’t have anything warm
to wear or even a damn blanket yet.
I know that I’m lucky to be alive,
and yet, right now- I’m just not feeling it.

P.S. – If you really want to help, stop giving money to Red Cross
because you might as well just burn it.
FEMA re-imburses them for everything anyway.
There are better grassroots, community-minded relief organizations
to donate to that don’t spend charity money
on war bonds or mercenary security.
Educate people who don’t know.
Write me letters, send me treasures,
come distract me, come hold me, and go read this story.

One comment


by Reverse Phoenix – Hurricane Katrina, 10 Years Later « Angeliska Gazette on August 29, 2015 at 1:48 pm. Reply #

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