Dennis Persica used to live near here. His house was on Pratt Drive, directly across the street from where the London Avenue Canal floodwall was pushed over by Hurricane Katrina's storm surge. He writes in today's edition of The Times-Picayune about how much life has changed in the past year and some months, but yet how little the neighborhood has changed (i.e. been repaired) in that time.
I live here, and I recognized some months ago that I have become acclimated to the destruction in this part of New Orleans. Immediately after the storm when I lived in the relatively unscathed sliver by the river, every trip to my house and my old neighborhood strongly affected me. But since moving back to the old address, taking residence in this government-furnished, bright white box amid the mud-stained houses, I see these gutted, vacant homes every day. Out of necessity, I know I have developed emotional calluses to shield me from the sadness.
I don't think I've ever met Dennis. But we share such similar experiences and cling to such fragile hope that I think of him as a good neighbor--even though he now lives all the way on the other side of the river. In this post-K world of heartbreaks and undaunted hope, we are kindred spirits.
Dennis, thanks for all you do.