Saturday, September 03, 2005

Katrina, Day 6, 7:05 p.m.


No, really.

Last night, Shelton & I cleaned the rotting food from a friend's freezer. Today I had to throw out my own. It's heartbreaking to have to throw out what had been a very nice pantry like that. Deer meat from a free, hunted animal... Beans, peas, fruits & vegetables bagged & jarred in our own kitchen... A small fortune in store-bought fish & chicken... All gone. Near total loss. Rob sad.

I'm completely alone now. My brother came out from Texas in a rented SUV to bring a little fuel, some food, cash, and provisions... and to extract my elderly mother. After much family drama, she grabbed a few things & went with him.

Although this leaves me so completely alone, I feel she made the right call. She needs to be in a safe place with the resources for her to stay alive instead of risking all on on a stand-off against the Third World we've become.

My brother James had seen footage of Katrina's aftermath and came armed. I understand that people *in my neighborhood* have contracted dysintery from the water contaminants merely from using the same towel twice.

I worry about disease and theft. I've been assured by a friend that I'll have a firearm soon. The sooner the better! People are acting erratically - at least some I've personally encountered. Others seem to maintain varying amounts of stoicism.

Me, I prefer to live *outside the box*. I rode with my brother & mother on a few errands in Jackson right before her departure. He pulled into the gas line, and I opted not to wait through it. I donned my helmet & gloves, rolled my Trek 7300 from the back, and zipped off down the street.

During my excursion, I chatted with a cop, rode to a nearby Back Yard Burger, ate lunch in, went to pick up a hot Kenya AA for my mother (who has suffered through a wicked hot coffee deficit), and returned. They'd moved forward maybe 50 feet.

Many of my neighbhors have spirited off to Texas or Arkansas. Some have already returned, probably due to having viewed footage on CNN or the web. I hope some of the returning refugees have brought outside provisions. Some I know haven't, but won't accept any offers of help. Wierd, eh?

I offer to deliver a hot meal to someone who I know is unable to furnish one for himself, and it's not accepted. I bike past someone stuck with a half-sunk car in a flooded underpass, but they decline offers of aid.


I always hated my brother, but I gotta throw him a bone at this point. He came out here at considerable personal expense to drop off provisions & extract my mother to safety. Maybe he really isn't the guy I grew to despise all those years ago. Heck, I certainly wouldn't want someone to hold me accountable for every questionable thing I did when I was young, either. Sometimes we just have to move on. He really came through when so many others are letting us rot or profiting from our journey through hell.

Thanks to him, I've got another bottle of premium tequila, non-perishable food, gas, and freedom from worry about my mother's safety.

Lots of what I normally take for granted in my usual life has died off before my eyes or in my very hands. And the deepening solitude taxes me in a variety of ways.

Aaron's returned from Arkansas for a variety of reasons. The tree in his house has made it too unsafe for habitation, so he'll be crashing with a friend a county or two away, where there are utilities & such.

Personally, I discouraged him from returning. It sucks here! But it was his call.

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