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Normal Never Felt So Strange

A few days ago, as I was riding home from work, a strange feeling came over me, like déjà vu. After a moment, I realized what I was feeling was a sense of normalcy. The debris had just been cleared from that block of Jeff Davis, and there were no blue tarps in evidence, and I didn’t see any trailers in the immediate vicinity. The sun was shining, and there was a pleasant breeze in the oak trees. For a brief moment I could almost imagine that the floodwalls had never broken, or that I’d been transported back in time to February 2005.

Which got me thinking… The past has always seemed very close at hand in New Orleans. And New Orleans has always been a tragic city. Could those two facts be linked? Could the pain of the city’s constant struggles compel its denizens to look backward, wistfully, to a bygone era?

I don’t know. Just a passing thought. All I know for sure is that normal never felt so strange, or so sweet, or so fleeting.

Published inKatrinaNew Orleans

One Comment

  1. *sigh*

    I’ve thought a lot recently about how much history we could feel in New Orleans, and how little we feel here, in Atlanta. It has finally ocurred to me that a part of the reason for the difference is that, while Atlanta, an old city by American terms, which has seen much history, including the slave trade, is rendered without history by it’s very history: it was burned to the ground in the Civil War. I hope that this flood doesn’t do to New Orleans what Sherman did to Atlanta, and take away her history forever.


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