Sunday, February 04, 2007

How Are You?

I have to wonder: Just how is everyone doing?

Within my closest circle of friends, it's quite a mix. A business owner loses money every day he stays open. A self-employed image maker sits in the red, waiting. It almost seems that the tighter one holds to New Orleans, the greater the chance for unhappiness right now.

But can I type these words? Even think about it? That to move on, recover to good health, I have to let go of New Orleans? Is the City to be relegated to party destination in mid Winter and Spring? And if so, what does that say that I've become, to say nothing of the City itself?

Two other close friends have bought homes in distant cities. They seem to be flourishing, making better money, doing better work, living in safer cities. The home purchase, of course, stakes a real claim. A decision made. A commitment. Done.

Not to say they don't miss New Orleans as much as anyone else. Nor to say that the decision was in any way more fulfilling than living a full life in New Orleans could have been. But the deal breaker is more with "could have been" than with "living a full life in New Orleans." Once forcibly displaced, who's to wonder how, if, when life will or will not catch up with you no matter where you lay your head? Who can create a working scenario that includes another move to a less-safe city? And with a family?

The diaspora is fairly set, as is the population of the City of New Orleans. It is less likely that anyone who has not already returned ever will return than it is likely that they'll keep their higher paying jobs and better schools for their kids.

My status: I have not bought a house.

Drop me a line each of you, would you? Tell me how you're making out....


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