Thursday, October 06, 2005

Good Night And Good Luck

If you read my previous post on the subject, you know I signed up to do Red Cross disaster assistance for the hurricane survivors. Well, today I got the call, and at the ungodly hour of 5:40 a.m. on Sunday morning I'll be leaving Philly for Baton Rouge. That's the staging area I'm being sent to, and the place whose hurricane damage Bill Clinton, upon his visit there Tuesday, called "astonishing." I heard him talking about it on the radio, and in a few brief minutes he spoke more sense about the disaster and its ramifications for the region and the country than I have ever heard come out of George Bush's mouth in 5 endless years of stumping and photo ops.

Anyway, I'll be away for 3 weeks, so this my temporary sign-off till I get back in November. Lately I've missed a lot of great opportunities to write loud and bitter polemicals against the increasing stupidities of the age, and now it's too late. And I'll miss being here for my favorite month of the year, and my traditional October reading of stories of the supernatural on my daily commute. I'll miss my family, and my home, and my pets, and all the old familiar things that I usually bitch so much about. And it's kind of scary, not knowing what lies ahead, or what people will think of me when I get there.

Then I think that the people who suffered through the storms are also missing many of those same things, and the difference is that I'll get to come back to my life and my precious things pretty much the way I left them, whereas those folks will never be able to. And the people who have been uprooted and forced to disperse to strange places where they have no friends or family are also scared, and the stakes in not knowing what to expect are so much higher for them.

So I think I'll just shut up now, and wrap this up. Wish me bonne chance, and that I can make myself useful.


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