Wednesday, September 01, 2010
My difficult birthday--and "The Story of Doug"
Sometime today I'll be appearing, alongside Tom Piazza and a still-displaced New Orleanian, on the Canadian Broadcasting radio show "The Current," which also airs in the US. We taped the piece a few days ago, and though I don't know how it'll be edited, I think it was a pretty good trio of perspectives on the city.
For a completely different take on the world, you can check out my essay "The Story of Doug" in the September issue of Best Friends magazine. You might even say they are to blame for my bitter Salon piece last week. The editors at Best Friends asked me for a piece on the 5th Anniversary of Katrina and after agreeing, I thought, "I don't really have anything I want to say about Katrina." So I wrote about evacuating for Gustav three years later, the differences in those experiences for everyone, and, of course, the story of Doug, the dog that ended up moving in and keeping old Brando on his toes.
After writing such a cheerful piece, I kept thinking about the other side of things. I wanted to write about the nostalgia we sometimes have for that period after the storm, when things were eerily quiet, but people were united--and happy to see each other. As I revised my way through that, my mugging experience kept distracting the balance of the story, and eventually I decided to just push that to the front.
But, enough of that. Tomorrow is my birthday. Want to give me something? Donate to the fund for Perry and other dogs featured a few posts below. I know a surprising number of people who share September 2nd as a birthday and we all agree that it is an awful time for a party. It is always the day before school starts, or registration day, or labor day, or just before labor day, or just after the start of school. Particularly in adulthood, it is a easier to just let it pass by unnoticed.
Five years ago, I arrived in Atlanta on my birthday, after being stuck in Mississippi without electricity or access to news for almost a week. My friends gave me new clothes for my birthday that year.