Love Letter Number 5

This is from sometime in October 05.

Hey Babe,

I’ve driven around lately and have been asking myself one question that I cannot seem to answer. What is it about you that makes us, myself included, want to fight for your life? What is it about you that turns us to jelly when we hear your name, think of you or walk through your streets? Where does your mystique come from? Why is it that we who have lost everything insist on rebuilding your body?

I’ve been back about a week. I’m not suppose to be here so don’t tell anyone. It’ll just be our secret. What I’ve seen in the week back has been humbling, sad, depressing, shocking and most of all painful. I remember when your streets were full, when you were really the city that never sleeps. Now you’re the city where no one is awake. God I hope you don’t become Rip Van Winkle.

The grey that covers you now has affected everyone that is back. I can see the hurt, the eyes that never thought this was possible. I see it in the grown men and women who have lived here their whole life. The grey is depressing but you’re a depressed city now, one on life support but you still pull us back.

Why is that? What is in this mojo that you hold over us? It would be easier to start over somewhere else, anywhere other than here. Where it happened. Where our lives, all of our lives, have been changed forever. If you would just let go of our hearts, maybe we could forget about you, forget about the pain and start new, start fresh. But we cannot because you have some power over us that we do not understand.

I use to think the power was because of your debauchery. Because we could party all day and night, then re-start with bloody marys in the Quarter at 6am. But it’s not that. I thought that when I was a drinker, when alcohol was a part of my life. Those days are long gone and I haven’t been in a bar in years so that’s not why you keep us close. The food? Well of course it’s the best in the world, but I’ll have a bowl of cereal for dinner sometimes and I still have the love for you. So it’s not the food.

I’ve come to it over the last 5 weeks I think and it scares me. Your beauty, your vibe comes from the people who live within your bosom. White, black, red, whatever….you are your people. I’m scared because the people that make you who you are gone. And after looking at you for the last week, they may be gone for a very long time.

I can’t help but wonder-What exactly are we rebuilding while we rebuild you? My gut tells me the city we all fell in love with is gone forever while my heart yearns for the mystique that use to be New Orleans.


3 Comments so far

  1. Denise Bourbeau-Moses (unregistered) on August 31st, 2006 @ 9:24 am

    That is a gorgeous letter. I can’t even imagine the pain and heartache everyone in New Orleans must have felt just one year ago. For those that perished, may God protect them; For those that survived, my God cherish them.

    Keep strong and continue to fight for what once was.


  2. josh (unregistered) on August 31st, 2006 @ 9:30 am

    good friend

  3. Ana (unregistered) on August 31st, 2006 @ 3:03 pm

    That is such a beautiful letter. I was always fascinated by New Orleans. To me it was one of the most intriguing, charming, spirited cities in the world. My love goes to all the victims of Katrina and to New Orleans…I hope that it shines again.

    Love from Croatia…

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