“I know but I don’t know, y’know what I’m saying?”
I wasn’t up for it.
I’ve neglected keeping up with Treme, and seeing pictures of overturned trees, flooded neighborhoods and subway stations and death counts post-Sandy, I remember. 2005 was the shock. 2007 was the slow drag forward into what you had no idea.
Disaster, natural or human-made, is hard. Clean-up is hard. The wait for ice, food, rescue, return, also hard. But what I most wish my East Coast fellow citizens didn’t have to live through is the long-term recovery and aftermath that keeps echoing and lingering and comes back quickly with a single picture or remembering, as I did with my mother yesterday, that if she hadn’t been in Charity, she would’ve been among the dead, her house submerged, her a body to be found and counted on a tag spray-painted on the front of the ruined house.
To all that and more, add the insult of being told, after scraping and fighting and crying so hard to keep it, that our “culture” was too loud and how dare we walk in our own streets and honor our dead and fight off despair and be what drew the complainers to the neighborhood/city in the first damn place. Like Antoine said at the beginning of Ep.1, “Bullshit.”
Every lingering shot this season, I hold my breath waiting for the shoe to drop or wall to fall and they don’t. It felt like that then, too, like around every corner was a roadblock of debris, paperwork, lines and lies, Shaw, FEMA, Road Home. I lived through those years but can’t remember much about it except that feeling in my chest and after a couple episodes of Treme, I realize why—denial, turning away as a survival tactic and one that shouldn’t be dismissed because it got some folks through here and will on the East Coast.
Actually, it was denial + tequila.
What I learned from Isaac is you cannot stock too much alcohol pre-distaster/storm.