“Do you know what it means…”

“…to miss New Orleans?”

Watching the 1:00 a.m. showing of Treme has become my favorite pastime.  I’m a little too keyed up at 10 and midnight.  One o’clock seems just right for me.  Everything is completely still.  Tossing, turning, and late night peeing is all done.  This is the show that I like to sit back and enjoy with ceremony.  It’s authenticity is what appeals to me.  David Simon has a knack for catching the subtle nuances that make the place home.

My sister and I, from time to time, disagree about where I live. I’m a single mom, I’ve got two kids, so living far away is so unwise.  The implication that living 18 hours away from my family is some sort of experiment in rebellion and independence ultimately causes me to become angry and defensive.  Ultimately, we make nice, but it takes a moment for me to calm down.  There’s the first issue of bristling at the notion that not being married means I must stay around the menfolk.  This is not the 40s.  Women can own property without permission.  Yet, that reason is small potatoes when I get down to what really makes me mad.

Every day, I wake up with the knowledge that I’m not going to run into old friends at the grocery store.  I won’t see the lady who sold me donuts when I was nine in the mall.  I don’t even have a dude with that throwback yike to get me through the lean times on a random Saturday night, if I so desired.  I have connections here, good connections.  I have good friends and have made strong ties here, but they’re all new.  After work, I can’t stop at the house where I grew  up and see if my mother’s tree started to grow again.  I can’t curl up in the big chair at my dad’s house, raid his fridge and watch movies.

I also know that as much as I love and miss my home, there are so many shortcomings in its infrastructure, and I just don’t have it in me to have to go to the mat for something as simple as my kid having books less than ten years old and air conditioning in the classroom.  I shouldn’t  have to, and they shouldn’t have to endure it.  We live in a place where we do not.  And it hurts that I can’t find that at home.

So do I know what it means? It’s passing three grocery stores to find the one that sells Zatarain’s Creole seasoning.  It’s refusing to spend $13 a pound on crawfish at Acadiana because I know it would only be $2.29 at Dockside.  It’s that ache that sites on my bones when I walk into a sandwich shop and only smell bread, when I want to smell seafood and gravy.  It’s the tear in my eye when Rebirth’s “Cassanova” randomly comes on the iPod at my most homesick moment.

Yeah, I know.


3 responses to ““Do you know what it means…”

  1. I live four hours away and I know exactly how you feel. It kills me that the short comings of city has kept me here, but as a single mother it’s a good place to be at least for the babies right? That’s what I keep telling myself and most times I’m ok with it but I do know what it means to miss New Orleans. I haven’t watched Treme yet because I don’t want to pack up my things and move home on a whim. *sigh*

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