Friday, September 08, 2006

October 17, 2005

My cold was so bad that when I woke up at 3 a.m. to pee, I never fell back to sleep. Laying down just makes my nose stuff and run and I can’t stop coughing. I’ve never worked this hard while being sick. I feel better being up and about, but I know I’m going to crash when I get back today. R. who will be leaving Wednesday, told me she recommended me to J. M. for her crew when J. asked, so if that happens, I’ll be going back into the 9th Ward.
This morning I walked into the section of the parking lot between us and the road, and to the west, still dark, I saw the just-waning moon, full and in extreme detail. The stars above, chased by the rising sun, still shone. I could make out Orion’s belt. Then, when I turned to the east to walk back to the building, I saw bright layers of magenta and orange laying on the horizon, harbingers of the yet unseen sun. It was such a remarkable combination of sights that I called the guard over to show him. He said, “You’re from the city, right?”
Last night, J., the newly-made assistant supervisor, did not sleep in her cot. R., whom she asked to move next to her, said she had spent the night in the hotel in Harvey (just south of NOLA), where M. and K. stay. He noted that certain of the group go there, and had a kind of fatherly concern for her. She’s old enough to know what she’s getting into. While we’re on the subject of shelter behavior, there’s an odd incidence of some of the 20-somethings getting into bed together in the morning and before lights out.
I’m too old or too weary or too something to concern myself about much that goes on here. It seems to operate much along the lines of a sleepaway camp. Cliques, special privileges, high school stuff. I guess I expected more from the people who volunteered. Between this and the management/organizational/communication problems the agency has, I begin to understand why some folks have turned off so badly. I’ve lost interest in learning to drive the ERVs. I don’t even care whether I stay on a crew. Just so long as I don’t have to be sent on pointless travels from pillar to post with nothing to do, I’ll be content.
Wednesday is my day off and I’ve put in for a car.

Short entry, as I am now sicker than ever and completely exhausted. They put me on an ERV with a completely inexperienced crew and driver, and I had to hold the driver’s hand through everything, including the light check. Plus I had to navigate us to the site, Municipal Auditorium in Louis Armstrong Park, downtown NOLA next to the French Quarter. We got off I-10 too soon, but drove right next to the Superdome. Not quite deserted, but the traffic was closer to 3 in the morning than a Monday rush hour. Things look sad.
I did so much work, my own and everyone else’s and the driver, T., did very, very little, and it was an extended run with no midday break, so it was tiring. I think it put me over the edge.
J. is not sending me out tomorrow. And Wednesday is my day off. Maybe I can recover.

Louisiana Diary: previous, next, home


Post a Comment

<< Home