we could use a telepath
So, now the mayor is re-elected and most people are just dealing with it. My friend, Shannon, has just returned from Paris. This morning we had coffee. She said, “well, you must be really disappointed that Landrieu didn’t win.” I answered her that actually, I’m not. I thought we had two amazingly good choices for mayor considering what we have had in the past. Much of what is going to happen will happen no matter who is mayor. The firing of half the city council tempts me to believe that there is a god. The put-downs on New Orleans are starting to make me want to defend Sugar Ray, who did not build these fucked-up levees.
I had worried that Shannon would move out of town if an opportunity came up. She has been through hell with the insurance company, the mortgage company and the contractor. It turns out that an opportunity did come up in a pretty decent city, but she decided to remain in New Orleans. I think she would move to Paris if given the chance, but who wouldn’t? I think right now is the worst time to leave. New Orleans isn’t going anywhere and right now it’s like the wild west. When will anyone have opportunities like this again?
Earlier this evening, I went to the movie “Thank You For Smoking” with my friend, Josh. First of all, if you haven’t seen this movie, go see it. It’s about a tobacco lobbyist. Josh and I are both the kind of people who will smoke if we damned well please, and we were howling at the dead-on satire. It is very well cast, well written, all that. It’s at Canal Place, which is back in business and looks great. All the big stores are open and there are some new ones. You can park in the Canal Place garage and the theater will validate your ticket.
Any way, I had the same conversation with Josh. He asked me if I had thought about leaving. I told him that I’m not staying in New Orleans at all costs. I intend to stay here and I love it here, but I must be able to work and I must be safe. If either one of those things doesn’t happen, I will explore my options. But until then, I am staying. He, like me, has been to other southern cities and they don’t compare.
About New Orleans, though, Josh said he feels like it’s just not right yet, even though his life, like mine, has hardly been affected. He lives Uptown, works Downtown, goes to most of the places he used to go, but there is something missing. It’s the people. Josh said that he never went to New Orleans East or the Lower 9th Ward before the storm and he doesn’t go there now, but he feels the loss of all those people. They are what made New Orleans what it was. Their different colored faces and different ways of talking made Canal Street the main street of a big city instead of just some coastal town. We need all those people back. I used to be so annoyed by the black guy who walked up and down Canal Street screaming bible verses at the top of his lungs. Now, I say, let’s get that guy back and give him a FEMA trailer. Canal Street is not the same without him.
One eccentric who has returned is the guy who walks around in front of the federal court house at Camp and Poydras. He is an older white man and he wears a sandwich board that reads: “FREE HARRY GOLDBERG TELEPATH” on both sides. Considering the setting, I don’t think he is advertising free telepathic services. I imagine that Harry Goldberg is a powerful telepath whom the government is holding in a special lead-lined prison in New Mexico, trying to harness his ability to read minds. I used to pass that guy about once a week and I have never asked him about Harry Goldberg. I’m so glad to see him back. Free Harry Goldberg, whoever he is!