Hi. My name is Sooz. I live in the Lower Garden District in New Orleans, Louisiana…
Oh my gods. Do you know how LONG I have been waiting to write that?! Years. YEARS. More so this past year, when I just kept waiting for it to be true. Let me say it again, because it feels good:
Hi. My name is Sooz. I live in the Lower Garden District, in New Orleans, Louisiana. I am one block from Magazine Street. Four from St. Charles Avenue. I commute to work by streetcar, to the CBD where I have this amazing (and totally nonstop!) job in the marine transport biz. At nights, I sit on my screened-in porch and stare at the lights of the Crescent City Connection bridge, while listening to spooky bugs and breathing the fumes of a million different flowers growing all at once. I can hear boats TOOOOOTING from home. And church bells. I’m starting to recognize faces on the street, and vice versa. And and and.
I live in New Orleans. Happily. And successfully.
And it still doesn’t seem real.
Jeebus H., what a year. J and I moved into our place here in the LGD about 2 months ago. Still unpacking, room by room. Down to about 1/2 a room of boxes and detritus now. Getting there. It’s been like Christmas, going through all the stuff that had been in one storage unit or another for almost a year. Not always easy, lot of sentiment wrapped up in possessions important to us. But good.
There is not a chance in heck that I will ever be able to go back and recap a play-by-play of stuff that’s happened since…what? Mardi Gras? Yeah, I was going to do a huge Mardi Gras writeup but never could. Commuting across Lake Ponchartrain after work ate up my nights after very busy days.
So I’ll just say. We followed my crazy a year ago in March. Lived in the shittiest extended stay hotel you could ever imagine, in Metairie, for about 3 months. Had our hearts broken when we failed and had to go back to Colorado. Lived with the fam and worked retail jobs to get by. Had our hearts broken again when we had to say goodbye to our CO tribe. AGAIN. Hauled ALL of us out here, fam and all, at the tail-end of October, stayed in another slightly less crappy extended stay hotel for about a week, in Metairie. (I have a pretty strong hangup about Metairie now. In that respect, anyway.) Moved the fam to Mandeville. Lived there for about 4 months (J and I – Infamaus and Cootie are still there!), in which time we both acquired real damn jobs. And almost accidentally stumbled across the ad for the place in which we are now nestled. In New Orleans. Moved in, and, Welcome to New Orleans, had to camp out our very first weekend because the Sewerage and Water Board got the water-turn-on date wrong. Washed our hair over the sink for work that first Monday. You know, the usual. And have now been slowly but surely settling in.
It is a treat to me, just to walk to the corner store. Or to ride the streetcar home from work. Everything is fascinating yet familiar. And totally unreal, after everything we had to go through to be in THIS. Very. Spot. Right. Now.
I’m going through bits and pieces of some sort of weird post traumatic thing right now. A year ago today, we were hitting the end of our means but hanging in there, and trying trying trying and getting very nervous about the state of things. The other day, we came across the cardboard box that had the remnants of Hotel Life in it…it’s still sitting there. I can’t look in it. The simplest things like the books I was reading at that time have gone into the Goodwill box. I can never read them again. Good thing they weren’t important pieces of literature. It’s kind of wild. And there’s financial fear after being so unemployed and/or broke for so long. Or this irrational It’s Going to All Disappear Tomorrow angst. But it’s minimal and doesn’t last long. But yeah, you’d have to pay me big bucks to drive down the I-10 Service Road past those damn hotels. I can’t even tolerate Clearview. Too many last-year memories.
I am digressing in the hugest way. I’ve missed this blog SO MUCH! We finally got internet a couple of days ago and I have the time and space to write again. So please forgive me if my return entry is less than poetic or a little spazzy. I’m just so damn excited to be back, in many many ways.
My name is Sooz. I live in New Orleans.
We made it home.
Featured Image: My Front Door