The electricians started work on our house today.
Also, the plumber got the city inspector to come by and certify us for getting our gas service restored.
Also, Xy made the cut. She was amongst the 200 teachers (out of over a thousand applicants) who got called back for an interview (for one of 60 positions).
So: Good news for us today.
But any day in New Orleans is a mix. And today had its share of sorrow as well. For example, there’s Percy Allen.
Mr. Percy is the man who lives down on the corner. I never talked to him before the Big Storm, but in the spirit of post-Katrina solidarity I introduced myself and shook his hand yesterday.
Turns out that Mr. Percy is a Vietnam veteran. He seemed kind of messed up, like he was drunk or on drugs, but he was very friendly and thanked me repeatedly just for talking to him.
What particularly alarmed me was the fact that he is sleeping in his flooded, moldy house, which has not been gutted or remediated in any way.
But worse still, today I heard loud, heaving sobs coming from the direction of Mr. Percy’s porch. He seemed to be crying. I didn’t want to get too close; frankly I was afraid of his pain. I was afraid it might be catching.
On top of that, today was the first day residents of the Lower Ninth Ward were allowed to return to their neighborhood. I saw some scenes on the local television news, and it was heart-breaking. It amazes me that this neighborhood is only now being opened after three months. It reminded me of my own return to Mid-City — only much, much worse.