Sunday, August 28, 2005

Waiting for Katrina in New Orleans

Poppy Brite, preparing to ride out the storm:

This is just what we needed, the giant whirling cherry on the stinking sundae of an almost incomprehensibly shitty fortnight. We have never evacuated for a hurricane and probably never will. This isn't bravado; it's just due to the logistical impossibility of evacuating 28 animals, some of whom are uncatchably feral, and I have no intention of holing up somewhere safe and dry while the animals cower in terror and go hungry. Besides, we couldn't evacuate this time even if we wanted to; we're contractually prevented from taking our cheapo rental car more than 25 miles from New Orleans.

I'll finish reading through the Soul Kitchen manuscript today and try to get all my line edits, at least, done by Sunday night so I can e-mail it to my agent. If we are all washed away or drowned under thirty feet of toxic sludge, at least the book will be turned in.


We are at my mother's house in central Mississippi. We bugged out at 1:00 this afternoon, battening down the hatches as best we could and bringing only our dog and our oldest cat, Colm, who requires daily medication. I'm absolutely sick about the ones we left behind, ashamed of having abandoned ship, and doubtful that I will ever see my home again. However, we caved in to pressure from our mothers, who can accomplish what 10,000 e-mails and radio warnings screaming "YOU'RE GONNA DIE!!!!!!!" cannot.

It took us eight hours to drive the approximately 80 miles...


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