Sunday, December 04, 2005

conversations with friends

Some random pieces of the last few days

At a rebirth show 2 nights ago:
“Hey, love! How are you?”
"Oh, you know. Excited and sad. Same as everybody.”
"I'm so happy to be here, and then the music stops and I'm like, 'Oh.' "

With a local musician
“I would move back in a second if it wasn’t for the damn curfew. What are they doing, trying to kill us? It’s like they’re taking the only bit of life we’ve got right now, and making it totally impossible.”

Dancing at Mimi’s last night
“My boyfriend just dumped me and I don’t even care! Is that bad? Am I cold-hearted?”
“I don’t think so, darlin. I think sometimes our hearts can only take so much before they just stop.”
“Yeah, but that’s terrible! Is that really what it’s come to? Oh well. Look at my awesome tattoo!”
“Oh, it’s awesome.”
“Yeah. I love it. Have you gotten yours yet? Your Katrina nostalgia tattoo?”
“No, but I’m gonna.”
“What are you gonna get?”
"I think an infinity sign. Destruction and rebirth and stuff.”

Almost every day, with almost every one
“I feel like I’m in limbo. I’m so sad to be here, but it’s so weird to be anywhere else.”

With a middle school teacher from Mc Donogh 28, around the corner from my house
“I went to school to get my stuff out of my classroom and they switched the locks on us! I had to beg the security guards to let me in and they were so rude. And some of those teachers have been teaching there for like 30 years, and they treated them like that. I was coming out and I ran into one of my students and she was like, ‘When is 28 gonna open back up again?’ and I had to say, ‘it’s not.’ And that girl’s face just fell.”

Driving down Jeff Davis, which still doesn’t have power
“Sometimes I feel like I’m on a trip somewhere. You know? I catch myself thinking things like, ‘when I get home, I’m gonna do this.’ And then I remember that I am home.”

With a friend who just came back from LA
“So I was at Kyoto the other day? Which was weird anyway, you know. And there was this guy sitting next to us at the sushi bar and we kinda talked a little bit, you know. Not too much. Anyway at the end he had all this sushi on his plate and he asked us if we wanted it! ‘Cause he wasn’t gonna eat it.”
“That’s cool.”
“Cool? I was totally amazed. I mean, the whole time when I was working there last year I can swear no one—I mean really no one—ever, ever, gave their sushi to anybody else. I totally couldn’t believe it.”
“Yeah, I feel like that’s happening a lot here these days.”
“Yeah. I have these neighbors who just cook red beans for whoever, every Monday. You just go over there at about five. And this other guy who cooks red beans on the neutral ground sometimes, and yesterday this guy at the rue gave me the other half of his sandwich.”
”Wow, really?”
”Yeah. And so much other stuff. I feel like people are sharing more, saying hi on the street more, you know. All that stuff.”
“I guess I can understand that.”
“Yeah. I think what’s weird to me is that I sort of forgot that isn’t how things usually are.”

With another friend at Mimi’s last night:
"I love you so much. We need to hang out in more meaningful ways.”

On the street with my old landlord, who is part of a multiracial gospel choir called Shades of Praise
“We’re singing tomorrow; you should try to make it.”
“Yeah. Bring friends. How are you doing?”
"Oh, you know. Muddling through.”
"I think that’s just the pace of things these days.”
"Yeah. I'm totally struggling, but I feel like it's ok because everyone's kind of on the same page.”
"I know. I finally feel like a New Orleanian. I used to be prompt; I used to expect other people to be on time and get mad at them when they weren’t… Now I’m just there when I’m there.”

With an 8-year-old child at the clinic yesterday
“Lots of times I wish things were like it was before. If this flood hadn’t happened, everything would be just like it was.”

In the car with a displaced friend in town for the weekend
“Wow, you just asked me how I was doing and I really told you. I feel like that hasn’t happened in a long time. I kind of feel like I was just in a little counseling session.”
“I feel like that’s just how conversations go these days. You know, what else are we supposed to talk about? ‘You look so cute tonight? I love the way your hair looks?’ I think most of us feel like those kinds of conversations are totally absurd right now.”
"I think that’s why even though it’s so sad, it’s really good to be here. I finally don’t feel crazy. I feel like I can breathe.”


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