Monday, September 05, 2005

Katrina, Day 8, Midnight

I took a break from guarding the house today. My brother-in-law delivered some clean towels & other provisions and lured me away for a couple of hot meals, ice cream, a cold beer, and family. Was nice.

They're not quite back at 100%, but are very nearly so and were in great spirits. And I got to spend some time with a long-lost friend - one of my first and longest friends, in fact. His daughter & my niece carry on in so many of the same ways we did as boys.

Many pleasant childhood memories were rekindled. Heck, this was the guy with whom I got my first tattoo.

Plus, I got to check gmail a bit & update my blog. I'm trying to keep my people out there as in-the-know as possible. To my mom and everyone else who can't reach me, know that those nearby who wish me well are seeing to it that I get everything I need.

Wednesday I've got an appointment to have a dual basket saddlebag-like contraption modded onto the bike. It's just about perfect for carrying groceries, dry clothes, & other essentials for the daily commute, or whatever needs doing.

I gotta tell ya, if you've got to survive the unexpected, you could do worse than own and use a well-built hybrid bicycle. For your next apocalypse, consider a hybrid with the ability to haul as much gear as possible as far as possible and as comfortably as possible.

For me this currently translates to twenty seven gears for achieving reasonable speeds & mounting stunning steep inclines. I've got front shocks, but if I had a solid fork up front, I could attach even more gear to it. (Everything's a trade-off.) I can carry a heavy payload on the back, and two water bottles.

I *wish* I had a trailer, so I could carry more gear. And I *wish* I had a $400 high-definition headlight already, so I could ride home from work in greater safety and style. I *wish* I had these trippy spoke lights called hokey spokes, because I think they're cool. :D

But I love my bike, really. And I can't believe my good fortune of buying this particular bike a matter of days before Katrina hit.

TREK, if you're listening out there, I'd endorse you any day of the week. And The Bike Rack on Lakeland Drive, too. Without y'all, I might be in really dire straits right now.

I'm still planning on touring Mississippi towns by bicycle this autumn. But it won't be the same. We'll not be the same again any time soon.

Now don't get me wrong. Mississippi and our neighbor states hit by Katrina are all filled with people capable of fearlessness and compassion, humor and insight, and a rich, varied oral history. We'll survive and pass Katrina stories down for generations. But so much beauty & life has already been lost.

My favorite restaurant on the coast is surely gone. There's a fair likelihood that I'll find out that I know or love someone who hasn't survived. The casinos in which I first legally gambled are toast. The place where I got my first tattoo. The places I got tattoos #4 and #6, as well!

The Zen Temple, the restaurants, the jazz clubs....

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