Holding Patterns

The Blocked Project seems to be in semi-permanent hiatus, awaiting the convocation of experts who will hold forth on what will surely be the Magic Formula for the script’s success. That hasn’t alleviated the overall depression and deep funk the failure has engendered. I’ve been burying myself in non-writing activities, trying to spark something somewhere; reading, performing, helping out at the church, playing City of Heroes.

After such a gap in enterprises like this blog, I generally log back on with a jocular “lot of water under the bridge, huh?”, but given the events of the last couple of weeks, that would be in spectacularly bad taste. I would feel guilty even referring to the influx of evacuees into Houston from New Orleans as being a “flood”, you know? Seeing the devastation of the Big Easy referred to in the Chronicle as being of “biblical proportions” also seems suspect to me, for reasons I cannot quite comprehend.

And comprehension is a problem, no matter how many distressing images one sees on TV or how many angry messages one reads on the Net. We are told on the one hand this is happening, then told no, this is not happening… but one thing that is becoming clear: generalities often become that because they contain truth, and the generality that such events bring out the best and the worst in people is so obvious that I am ashamed to bring it up.

Mere miles from me is the now-overcrowded Astrodome, where health scares have apparently prompted FEMA to step in, rumor has it. Go a few more miles and you’re at the relatively new Convention Center, slightly less crowded and apparently more accomodating (they had a little more time to prepare). As more than one newscaster has put it, Texans have opened their hearts (as one Chronicle blogger has groused, “Houstonians opened their hearts! Houstonians!” – and I’m concerned about being petty!) – and this good.

But I am in a funk, so the Cynic is ascendent in my worldview, and he is quite vocal in his musings about how long the charitable outpouring will last. History tells us that once the initial rush is over, charity will taper off, and though I read today that residents of Jefferson Parish are being allowed back in for “brief inspections” of what used to be their homes, this crisis is going to be months in the clearing. Months. At least. How long before the bonhommie sours into resentment? Though there’s another voice inside my head that hopes for the best, that voice is becoming increasingly desperate, and the Cynic’s voice is the one that seems to ring truest.

Of course, the cynic is being egged on by the fact that yours truly is once again looking for employment, and tens of thousands of jobless people just arrived in this town. There is another voice, different from the cynic and the optimist, which approaches that observation with a resounding, My God, but you’re an asshole for thinking like that.

Unfortunately, that voice also rings very true.

Next time, let’s talk about something more pleasant. I have been reading some good stuff. Let’s talk about that, hm?

Stay healthy,