Can’t remember. Or won’t.

Today ought to be special, I suppose. Memorials and celebrations and moments of silence are scheduled around the city. People from the left, right, and dead center will speak from countless podiums about successes, failures, and, on occasion, conspiracies. But honestly, at the end of the day, it’ll be just so much hogwash: decaying wreaths, empty bottles of booze, and speeches that didn’t convince anyone of anything they didn’t already believe.

I might feel different if August 29, 2005 meant something to me, but fact is, I can’t remember much of it. I’m pretty sure I woke up before anyone else and made a pot of coffee, let the dogs out, and flicked on CNN. I know I caught glimpses of a reporter stationed in the CBD, giving millions of people false information about New Orleans’ history and geography. I also saw tantalizing but ultimately crappy videophone images of the Superdome. And after a couple of hours of that, I remember Jonno and I went shopping.

Seriously, people: shopping.

So while we were strolling through Lafayette’s mostly deserted mall, distracting ourselves with clothes and electronics and the occasional fellow refugee, thousands upon thousands of others were rushing to their attics, preferring darkness and stifling heat to the even darker, dirtier rising floodwater. I don’t like to think of myself as someone who seeks refuge in denial or avoids life’s problems; I prefer to believe that I’m just the sort of guy who focuses on the task at hand and doesn’t obsess about things he can’t change. But on that day, August 29, I had the luxury of burying my head in solid ground, and I took full advantage of it.

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