Monday, September 19, 2005

Home, briefly (sssssturtle)

When I turn the corner, the house looks mostly as we left it. There are a couple of strips of weatherboard missing from the second floor, but they came off weeks ago when we were just starting the tropical storm alphabet, during Cindy. Most of the homes around me are fine, too. An awning torn off, a few tree limbs down. Nothing too big.

I get closer and see that our dormer window is gone. On the far side of our house, the neighbor's 30-foot-tall loquat tree has fallen. It slid alongside our house on its way down, taking out the fence, a couple more sideboards, some windowpanes, and one complete window. The hand of Fatima is still hanging by the front door, though. So is the snooty French, "Attention: Chien Lunatique" sign. There's a mark spraypainted on the front of the house, presumably by the National Guard. I can't translate it entirely, but I think it means "No dead bodies inside."

The door is heavy and swollen. That's not surprising: midway through September, it's still sweltering and very, very humid in New Orleans. I give the door a kick and breathe a sigh of relief: nothing's changed. Glass on the floor from a shattered window, but otherwise, it's okay.

There's no smell of death in the air. I'm hopeful for Lola.

I get to the kitchen, and there are still two full bowls of cat food on the floor: the SPCA must've come early on and taken her away. I put my bag on the table and call around just to make sure. No answer. Great. (more...)