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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Today

Today, in Baton Rouge, I was interviewing a sad man to see if he qualified for hurricane relief aid, just like I've been doing for twelve or more hours every day for the last ten days. Most of the people I interview are sad. When I got to the column of household members, I saw two people listed.
"Is that your wife?" I ask.
"Yes."
"Is she currently living with you?"
"No."
"Well, I'm sorry sir, the person has to be living in your household to qualify. Where is she staying at?"
"My wife went back home right before the storm. I think she may be dead."
"Oh...
I finished the form (he qualified) and walked out of my little office into the hallway. One of my supervisors saw me, and told me to take my lunch break. I went to the bathroom to wash my hands, locked the door, broke down crying, loud face-stretching sobs, cleaned my face off, went to lunch, went back to work. Tomorrow is my office's last day of hurricane relief interviews. Thank God. I don't think I can do this much longer.

7 comments:

-E said...

I couldn't do that. I cry just watching the news. Hearing someone's story in person? No thanks. *hug* We can cry together.

Nicholas said...

To be honest, that cry session felt so good, and had so much behind, I didn't want to stop. I was tempted to just stay in there and cry instead of eating lunch.
I know this sounds a little shallow, but it is the opinion of everyone in South Louisiana:
We can't wait until this is over.

-E said...

I don't think you're the only ones. My friend recently moved down there. He lives in Jefferson Parish, along with his sister and bro-in-law and his bro-in-law's family. He told us about what they saw when they were allowed to go in and check things out. I have a feeling its gonna be quite a while before its over, and that makes it suck so much more.

But you cry all you need to. And if you need a shoulder to cry on, you've got mine.

Jon said...

yeah man that's pretty intense. my cry was more of a bittersweet thing. love and fear, you know. anyways, good talking to you, for a short while, today. we'll have to get together sometime soon and do something really manly.

Jon

-E said...

Thanks for the grandfatherly concern heh. I live in Austin, so I am far enough inland that it will be back down to cat 1 or smaller by the time Rita comes near me. I'll get wind and rain, but that's it. We'll be getting more folks fleeing this hurricane too.

But I appreciate your concern. I'll be fine. My dad and stepmonster live in Houston, and they're waiting it out. But they live on pretty high ground and in the north part of the city too.

*hugs*

Jordan said...

That does sound pretty intense man. Hope everything is going well now. A good cry can go a long way.

I just got my internet back (lightning took it out I think) so hopefully I can get back to reading and chatting here.

Take care man,God bless,

Jordan.

P.S. that scripture, the one you recommended when I was being rude to your cousin, went along way also. Nic, thanks for that reminder, I'm definitely trying to operate more on that level.

Wenchy said...

I couldn't do what you are doing. Seriously.