Somehow this blog keeps getting read and read and read, even when I am so painfully absent, even when I am basically non-existent. I can't explain it. I can't begin to understand it.
But thank you.
The words haunt, and I am awake long past when I should be. That is what words do. Isaac has passed and left me, thankfully, safe. I fear what it has done to so many others, and I cannot express my deepest sorrow and anguish to see my city and my region once again maligned in the national press. I am so fucking sick of people who say we should not live here. WE DO LIVE HERE. We are you. We are the people who came back after Chicago burned to the ground, after earthquakes leveled much of California, after terrorism shook New York, after hurricanes hit Galveston and Miami and Charleston.
We are people with families and homes and jobs and favorite restaurants. We feed the ducks in the park and we try to survive the violence and we try to contend with the politics and poverty that Louisiana breeds so familiarly. We harvest your seafood and your oil, we ship your imports, we dream your jazz, and we welcome you with open arms to visit us. And yet, you still go home and rant and rave, anonymously and online and in public and over radios that those damn people in Louisiana, in New Orleans, they live in a bowl. They live where no one should. They deserve to flood and to die and to watch their every possession become water-logged and molded.
Must be nice to sit atop the mountain and claim such loftiness. I hope you NEVER see the day when you face the loss of your home, your family and friends, the fear of a disaster -- man-made or "natural." I hope you never have to call for help. I hope you never spend your whole life paying taxes to a government, to a country, that doesn't see you as important enough to save.
Anyway. I could go on for hours. This is my city, and if you don't like it, then stay the fuck out. Thank you very much.
It's not assholes who keep me awake. It's not even the strep or the seven medications. It's a girl. Of course it is, you say, because what the fuck else keeps people up at night? Well, a lot of things.
You cannot destroy me and you will not hurt me, but you can keep me at arm's length. You can keep me in a place where I never get to know you. You can keep your thoughts locked inside your head, and you can fit me into a box that is convenient.
But I'm not sure if that's good enough for me.
I want a fighting chance. I don't want a leash, and I will give you a long enough rope to hang yourself if you choose. I will give you a long enough rope to run the world, twice, and I will give you the scissors to cut it any time you please, as long as you give me the same. I will give you space to run, and I will not follow. I don't want anyone to ever feel the need or the pressure to stay. I've been there, and I'm over it. It's fucking miserable. I want you to choose to open up to me, to choose what secrets you hold, to choose to come home with me. I don't care whom you fancy and whom you fuck. But when you are present, be there. Demand the same of me. Demand more of me. Demand something. Want something. Need something. You might not get it the way you want it. You might not get it when you want it. But ask.
I don't need a girlfriend or a wife. I don't need a bedmate or a roommate; I don't need a friend. I have the life I want, and I'm not looking for someone to complete it or change it or make sense of it. What I want is you. I keep coming back to that. I came back because I wanted a chance to get to know you. I wanted to know what made you tick, where you go when you are angry. What makes you wake up in the morning, and if you are happy when you do. Where you want to go tomorrow. What you dream about. I'm not asking to change you; I'm not asking to make sense of you. I'm asking for a moment when I get to listen. I'm asking for a peek over the wall.
And if that's too much to ask, I understand. You can say no, you can draw the boundaries. You can play elsewhere, and I won't come looking. But I will never know if I don't ask.
Just like you'll never know if I will wrap around you in the dark, if you don't pull my hand and see.