N.O.

We’re conditioned for nothing to go wrong.  We’re warned.  TV stops regular
programming.  Tells us to look out.

And then nothing happens.

We feel so safe.  We drive automobiles with multiple airbags.  We wear
helmets riding our bikes.  We’re protected.  It can’t happen to us.

And then it does.  It fucks with something primal.  Something we take for
granted.  Like the ground.

You can’t see an earthquake advancing, but the possibility of a temblor comes
with living in California.  It’s not a matter of if, but when.  At least
that’s what they tell us.

But we don’t listen.  We feel safe.  We experience some minor shaking, maybe
a tchotchke falls off the wall, but we’re all right.  Our loss is minor,
almost irrelevant.

And then it shakes.  And shakes.

The 1994 earthquake pushed me over the edge.

Oh, the initial shaking was bad enough.  Crouched on my front lawn after
running out of the house watching the earth rise up and down like a theme park
ride, transformers exploding on telephone poles.  But then it continued to shake.
For a month.  You’re taking a bath, trying to relax, and all of a sudden
you’re bobbing like a small yacht in the ocean.  It’s frightening.

But only if you experience it.  Those outside of California couldn’t
understand it, couldn’t comprehend.  They knew what shaking was, they just couldn’t grasp the worry over continued existence, the knowledge that the infrastructure you depend on, grocery stores, electricity, TV, they could be gone in a minute.  You could be living in a modern wasteland.

So I comprehend what’s going on in New Orleans.

But not really.  I’m like those people who didn’t live through the Northridge
quake.  If you’re not there, you just can’t get it.

Be thankful.  It’s awful.

I’m at a loss in understanding what’s going on.

How did this happen to begin with?  Was someone derelict?

Then again, that’s history.

But this WASN’T supposed to happen.  Isn’t that what the media said?  That
the city was safe?  And then, out of harm’s way, like Nate Fisher, the city died.

Point of refuge was the Superdome.  The gleaming icon of our national sport. 
Now filled with people without running water, or flushing toilets.

But these people were the lucky ones.  Then there were the dead.

We can understand planes flying into buildings more than this.  We’ve got
someone to be angry with, someone to vent our emotions upon.

But we’re gonna rail at human nature?

I’ve never been to New Orleans.  Spoken with Don Fox once, but I’ve got no
connection to the city.  I’d rather believe it all didn’t happen.

Maybe that’s human nature.  We need to put everything in a box.  In order to
make sense of it.  So we can move on.

I’m sitting in sunny Southern California, where it hasn’t rained for months. 
I want to believe all is well with the world.

But it’s not.

I’d like to be able to fix the problem.

But, I can’t.  So like human beings from time immemorial, I will carry on. 
We all will.  It’s what we do.  You can’t stop.

But you can’t forget.

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