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Life After Katrina(2)

2005-09-12 00:00

  And the looters. I carried a rifle for almost a week until the National Guard arrived. My sister-in-law found two pieces of her great-grandmother's china. She set them on the slab of their house while she walked to my house to get a drink of water. When she returned looters had gotten them. Granted, my rifle was old, rusty and useless if a looter got too close, but from a distance I appeared lethal. A group of National Guardsmen tried to talk it away from me late last week, and I told them they could have it when they could pry it from my cold, dead hands. Strange how a storm changes you.

  I have at least two friends who have obviously flipped out. These women are sitting in half blown out houses trying to live life in a normal way, even down to wearing make-up, dressing and using the good china and crystal since the everyday stuff is now up around Jackson or some similar locale. Yesterday one of them made the mistake of telling me how embarrassing my rifle was and I how needed to get dressed up and just pretend it was not happening. What came out of my mouth was not printable, but it was something akin to getting off your ass and helping someone besides your sorry, f-ing self.

  Now that phones are back up and life is returning to normal, my family is hunting for a place to live. My brother, his family and my mother will likely rent a house in this neighborhood until they rebuild. Me, I still get a little edgy when I hear water running in the bathtub. And I believe this storm will create one of the great migrations of Americans on a par with the Dust Bowl and the blacks moving out of the South in the 40s, 50s and 60s to the urban areas of the north.

  I will not rebuild on the beach. It is a graveyard now. I'm leaving as soon as I get my insurance settlement.

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