October 11th, 2005

I Will Not Defame New Orleans.



Sorry about that catty little outburst last night. I hope I haven't offended any San Franciscans/Californians irrevocably.

By way of excuse, I might cite the constant augmentation of strain I am under, which is making me bitchy and paw-swatty with nails unsheathed. In truth, I might just as easily be caught at any moment railing out against any city I happen to be visiting — because my poor, under-equipped brain has not stopped whirling in panic since late August, and because my soul wants nothing more than to just go home!

I haven't been home in over two months. Half of that time was holiday; the other half was Katrina. This is far too long to be displaced, the way I'm wired. Although I travel a good bit, I am really a homebody. I miss my city, my friends, my routine, Clifford…

Yesterday, my friend Rory called. He was at our house with a key. He rang me at the door saying he couldn't get in. The doorknob had come unscrewed. That god damned fucked up trick doorknob. I've worked on and replaced it three times, and still the thing falls apart. The odd thing was that I was nostalgically loving that stupid doorknob. "You'll need some pliers to turn the screw. I'm sure you didn't walk all the way across town with pliers." No, he didn't. But look, there's your neighbor across the street. "Great! Ask Tookie for some pliers!" More nostalgic yearnings. My lesbians are back in their house across the street! Why am I not there?

He managed to get in the house, fix the doorknob, and find my bike which he wanted to borrow. I talked him through the house and into a bureau drawer for a key to the bike lock. I could hear his footsteps over the phone as he climbed the stairs. Why aren't I there to climb those stairs? I heard the clink-clank of stuff rumbling around my bureau junk drawer as he searched for the key. Shouldn't I be the one to rummage through that drawer? He checked the fridge. Flies, yes. Maggots, gone. Smell, bad, but not emetically so any more. I want to be home to begin cleaning my fridge.

Rory left, and we hung up. I felt a ten pound weight lift off my chest knowing that the house was still in the same (relatively) good condition as when Ben and I snuck into the city three weeks, and fourteen æons ago.

I want to go home. I need to be in my house, and in my city, around my peeps, and see and experience first hand New Orleans as it rebuilds itself.

I left "home" (where I grew up) in 1988 and have spent all the years since traveling the country and the world looking for a city which I could really call home — somewhere that felt like home. I lived in some marvelous cities and have enjoyed them all, but the only place that has ever clicked with me was New Orleans.

I need to be there now, more than ever.

I do not know what it will be like when it is rebuilt. Different, certainly, but will I still love it? Will it still vibe with me as symbiotically as it always has? Will I still have a "home"?

This is the thought that disturbs me the most, and has stolen so many hours of my sleep. Will New Orleans be anything I am interested in living in, once the scabs of Katrina fall off? If not, where the fuck do we live? I've been reading about Savannah. It seems to have the same graceful, lazy pace of New Orleans with a comprable gritty, dirty underside that makes it dangerous and alluring. Anyone care to dissert upon Savannah?


I slept about two hours last night. Four the night before. Four or five before that. And on and on. When will the sleep dep kick in and demand a repose of 72 hours straight through? When can I breathe again? When can I stop feeling idiotic resentment towards the hiatus cities I find myself in?

When I'm home.
I Will Not Defame New Orleans.

Wednesday Reminder/Adjustment

For SF peeps, tomorrow, Wednesday, 6pm, at Amber (not "Amoeba." Bat is a very bad person for providing the wrong info, and Tamara is correct in her bewailing of my assigning a non-existant bar).

14th St. between Church & Sanchez, near that big Slave-Way off Market.

Drinking is for winners.