This morning I got up at 5:23 a.m., threw on some clothes, and waited impatiently for husband to finish his routine game of Civ III so he could follow me in the broken car down to the place where the car supposedly had an appointment "first thing." I got there. I could see the three mechanics inside the building. The one I had spoken with on the phone Sunday morning, so I thought, came out insisted that he hadn't been there on Sunday and he is "backed up" today. It left me scratching my eczema-filled scalp. I know who I had spoken to on Sunday. I've known the head mechanic for years, since before his dog was hit by an errant car whose driver was in a hurry to get away. I left my car there anyways.
I got dropped off back home and took Her Delightful Self for an early morning walk. There was little to no traffic. That was really nice. Just lots of birds chirping away, a couple of lone joggers, one or two people backing out of their driveways leaving for work I guess. The dog was Ecstatic With Happiness to be out so early with the dew still glistening on the grass and the sun like marmalade in a clear sky.
Yesterday, the water department was draining some of the fire hydrants. Ecstatic witnessed their gushing into rivulets pulsating down the dusty streets. There was none of that today, save for the one yard where the pool [must be nice] has been draining through a hose along the grassy boundary into a waiting sewer.
The news flashes pictures of Katrina and Kansas. The kitten, the youngest and most confident of the three felines in residence, pounces on his favorite green "mouse" and then stalks off to do battle with a spider plant whose only crime is also being green. Weather will be sunny today here but rainy again in Kansas. I had grieved long and hard for New Orleans after the rains came and the levees broke. I remember her bright shining like the sun. Years ago, I had walked somewhat stoned and drunkenly up and down her streets with some people who I used to call friends. She had captivated me then. New Orleans of the zoo with the white tiger, Bob Marley and the Whalers playing before the crowns at the Warehouse, glittering things discarded in the gutters the morning after. One morning, we sucked the heads out of crawfish and swizzled beers headed to the Blues Festival where we saw Z.Z. Top. Another, we had dropped acid. I freaked out cuz the youngest woman of the bunch was obviously pregnant. I wrecked her trip, I guess. Did she care about the stuff in her veins flooding the placenta barrier and bringing physical distortion or possible death to the developing fetus inside?
When death stalked those streets last year, I felt the death cries of the vodousaints rising up as one. The dikes have been patched. A shiny casino went up along the wetlands, once again defying the Earth our Mother to do her damnest. Wetlands are nature's defense against flooding. The French had build New Orleans on the wetlands years ago. We who have harnessed technology as our slave have not learned from that mistake. After Katrina, I wanted so to be part of the volunteer rescue effort. But I could not. Physically, I was in no condition to help. Knowing that, I wept bitter tears and stayed home. I convinced husband to send a pittance off to the Red Cross. I made a photolage on one of my blogs and wrote bad poetry. None of those things were enough.
New Orleans was re-built with the sweat of illegal aliens. There are so many jobs there now. Jobs going begging. Not enough people willing to live in a zone where Katrina is bound to happen again, any year now. Maybe this year. Maybe next. Within the decade for sure. Thanks, army corps of engineers for the information. Taco stands replace steaming plates of red beans and rice. Spanish supplants Creole. The destruction of one culture and rising up of another. This is the way the world goes. Knowledge does not always make things easier to bear.
Construction crews all over the States have their share of illegals working on them. When in Illinois, I heard about locals not being able to get those usually higher-paying construction jobs. Better pay than the tire factory even. The bosses were hiring wetbacks at lower wages. More ummph for the buck. In a train cresting the Rockies, my dinner mates concluded that we "have to" provide prenatal care for those women who are bearing United States citizens in their wombs. The Senate is debating the annexation of Mexico and Texas this month. Newt Gingrich read the Mexican Immigration Laws and the mediacs jumped all over him, accusing him of discrimination. They didn't know. Mexico does not want illegal aliens crossing the border either. Unlike the United States, Mexico takes meaningful action against those who would flaunt her boundaries. Time spent in a Mexican prison is time spent courting death, Mexican style. We imperialistic Americans forget that we are subject to the laws of the territory that we travel in. Our "rights" to violate the earth, trample over her sacred lands destroying the delicate balance between flora and fauna stops at our sovereign borders. We citizens of the United States forget.
We have forgotten how to live. We have forgotten the sheer joy of movement, of a dog delighting in an early morning walk. We have forgotten how to live. Broken cars aside, life is rich and succulent like the juice of platanos dulces running down our chins. The kitten warrior is strangely silent, staring out an open window at paradisio. The dog, sated, sleeps on top of the coverlet with the lilac print on her back, feet in the air like some strange apparition. It seems I've forgotten my breakfast napkin. I do not get up from my chair.