It's now less than 12 hours from Gustav's landfall on the coast of Louisiana. Unbelievably enough, I'm still receiving phone calls from friends who JUST found out what was happening. This seems unbelievable to me, whose life is consumed by this current crisis, but I realize that the world does not revolve around the Big Sleazy for most people outside Louisiana.
After Katrina, countless people suffered post-traumatic stress syndrome resulting from the disaster. Somehow, I think that even if New Orleans remains relatively unscathed after Gustav, that most people will STILL suffer from PTSD after the fact.
Here in Mississippi, my friend and I spent the day a Lake Grenada, a lovely little haven in the hills of Mississippi, at which we could while away our troubles for a little while. While floating in the cool water, I was almost able to convince myself that the constant hum in my ears was caused by distant outboard motors, and not by the not-so-distant freight train of my own fears roaring through my brain.
At dinner at a local barbecue joint, we both fought off tears as we realized how close to triumph or tragedy we really are.
When this is over, if all is said and done and we head back to an intact New Orleans, we're all still going to need a vacation and a prescription for Prozac.
Jen and I are in for the night, with the TV tuned to MSNBC. Jim Cantore is now in Houma, Louisiana. Sadly, that means that Houma is fucked. For those who don't know who Jim Cantore is, he's the Weather Channel's very own Weather Ninja. The saying goes that if Jim Cantore shows up in your town right before a storm, you know you're the target and it's time to get the hell out of Dodge.
Gustav is scheduled to make landfall somewhere around 8 a.m. Monday morning. We will not be sleeping tonight. We are exhausted, but there will be no rest for us until this drama has played itself out entirely and Gustav has taken his final curtain call.