Wednesday, September 10, 2008

You wanna trip? I'll break it to ya

On day 9 without power I think. The guy next door had a generator and had been living in his garage with his wife and new baby with just enough juice to power a window unit in there, but he got power yesterday, I guess because the street light is on his corner or something. Anyway, he ran an extension cord over the fence and last night we had a fan, a lamp, TV and DVD player going. We felt positively civilized, and I never thought I would appreciate those old Aqua Teen Hunger Force DVD's as much as I did last night. Things made sense for a minute, and if ATHF is your tether out to logic, you are dangerously adrift.

Since the public schools are all out this week, the daughters of a guy here in the office are running a makeshift daycare in the big conference room, and Maya and her new friends are down there likely forming a new society, crafting hand signals that indicate we slit their throats at dawn. Everything is high tension except for the power lines here. Our neighborhood, Capital Heights, was singled out in a New York Times piece the other day. I wish I could say that I knew the people quoted in the article, but we are more of a wave-on-the-bike-path neighborhood than an up-in-your-business neighborhood. Like, until my neighbor mentioned it right before the storm, I didn't know they'd just had a baby. Tall fences, I guess.

Earnest folks are staging a sit-in at the Entergy office downtown this afternoon

Event: Power to the People
"A sit-in at the Entergy Customer Office to demand our electricity be turned on again!"
What: Protest
Host: Olivia Watkins
Start Time: Today, September 10 at 12:30pm
End Time: Today, September 10 at 7:00pm
Where: Entergy Customer Service Center

I'm tempted to do it just for the AC.

It feels like everyone, including myself, is going just a touch mad in all this heat. The landlady of my co-worker Andrea bought herself a generator and came by Andrea's apartment and took the window unit from her window, citing "Well, you don't even have power so what's the difference?" as her justification. That is what we call fucked-up, and I fear that we all are being slowly acclimated into that kind of fucked-upness. I start seething when I hear friends have power on. Not real seething, but whatever an increment of seething is, I feel that. The heat may be ironically making me a little cold.

Like the other day at Borders, I was charging up my phone reading No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July, a book and author that I don't think I care for, but I feel there is something important going on in it of which I should be aware. The rainbow of plain covers printed in the shades of florescent copier stock, the listless sexual antics of her protagonists, the sheer lack of empathy that coats everything in it, gazing out with the same blank stare the author utilizes in her publicity shots - I was kinda into it. Same with her website - I think I hate it and kinda love it, and that is a hallmark of truly effective art. I was rightly accused by my outsideleft editor for having catholic tastes (he meant the "all-encomapsing" strict definition but I think it's more like the actual Catholics - imperious and long due for a reformation) so when I am strongly on the fence about something, I take notice.

And at the point where I was ready to quit a whole lot of things, some exciting things happened yesterday amid the panic: I was asked to read my Oxford American piece about post-Katrina Baton Rouge and participate in a panel discussion at the Louisiana Book Festival this October, and OA accepted my pitch for the next Southern Music Issue, so out of trauma and night sweats I push my writing endeavors down the road a little further.

So maybe there is a purpose, a continuum. When I walked into the mall the other day, shortly after making the post about the Van Morrison song blaring out of the loudspeakers, Maya and I came upon the carousel on the second floor, bummed that it had not been powered up yet just as The Byrds' "Turn! Turn! Turn!" came on; a perfect summary. I didn't blog it up on the spot because I had a shaky deal that this blog would not become a set of hyperlinked diary pages, but here I am, so here it is. Perhaps no one belongs here more than me right now.

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