I tried to ride my bike out to the lakefront this morning but when I turned to the left to avoid the Marathon, I ran smack into the runners, and when I jogged to the right I ran into them again – there was no getting around the race as it was running down every artery around City Park there was. But I finally made it to the lakefront and when I got there it was so windy that I wondered what the fuss was all about. Then I decided to come back down West End to avoid the marathon and I was riding along and all of a sudden I had this vision of after Katrina when the neutral ground on West End was this mountain of debris because that is where it was all stacked before they could move it out. Imagine miles of this mountain of flooded house bits all piled up – and now nothing – there was something surreal about it.
Then I turned right to get back to Mid City and I detoured down Catrina Street where I used to live about a million years ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth. The tiny cottage houses were ballooned into bigger houses and there were still houses that were defunct from the flood. I tried to remember what I was doing when I lived on Catrina Street and then I remembered I was 23 years old and I drove a red Spitfire – the street looked as if it had undergone a science experiment as it had buckled up and dipped low on the sides so my tiny car was always in peril of tipping over. I had been commissioned to work on the opening of a jewelry store in Lafayette by an inlaw of mine who was at the time an outlaw and though I know he was using me as a pawn for his tricks, I enjoyed driving to Lafayette about 90 miles an hour in my Spitfire on the weekends scouting out locations and getting renderings drawn up and having “meetings.” My boyfriend – the first love of my life – was in the nuthouse having had a mental breakdown (he was 16 years older than me) and I had started seeing who was to be my first husband.
I remember when I was moving out of the Catrina house to move across the lake in with my husband’s parents, I had this feeling that life’s current was moving me in a direction and I wasn’t quite sure what was going on as things were just happening so fast. I cried a blue streak when my washing machine was loaded on the truck – I can’t explain it, it was the same meltdown I had right before and after each marriage I had. The first marriage was the washing machine, the second was over an emerald ring that I ended up giving to my sister, and the third was over a dress that I wanted to buy for my wedding. It was sort of this guts out cry fest and really now I know what might have been the problem – FEAR.
I rode down Canal Boulevard back to the bayou and by that time the Marathon was calming down a bit. The day was sunny and cool and I was in a mood of something, something like the full moon is want to bring out of all of us, a sort of reckless abandoning of all the lessons learned in the past and a comfort that I don’t have to have a tantrum but actually say, that bothers me. I don’t like that. This makes me feel uncomfortable. There are some benefits to maturity after all.