A few days ago, as I was riding home from work, a strange feeling came over me, like déjà vu. After a moment, I realized what I was feeling was a sense of normalcy. The debris had just been cleared from that block of Jeff Davis, and there were no blue tarps in evidence, and I didn’t see any trailers in the immediate vicinity. The sun was shining, and there was a pleasant breeze in the oak trees. For a brief moment I could almost imagine that the floodwalls had never broken, or that I’d been transported back in time to February 2005.
Which got me thinking… The past has always seemed very close at hand in New Orleans. And New Orleans has always been a tragic city. Could those two facts be linked? Could the pain of the city’s constant struggles compel its denizens to look backward, wistfully, to a bygone era?
I don’t know. Just a passing thought. All I know for sure is that normal never felt so strange, or so sweet, or so fleeting.