More Flood Crap

My mom keeps calling, wanting updates, and bless her heart, I’m about ready to tell her to just fucking read the blog, because, god damn it, my conversations with her are excruciating. She’s clearly concerned, but her concern is just grueling. People, she faxed me a children’s book about a flood, because she thought I would appreciate it. I repeat, she faxed the contents of a whole book to me at work. For an hour the fax machine was busy printing out a whole damn book.

And tonight she called for an update, which is fine, but she’s trying so hard to be chipper and she wants to hear all about things, but in this chipper way, like there’s some way to talk about this as a list of facts, of what’s been destroyed and what hasn’t. She called to ask if we still have water and I didn’t know if she meant in the yard or in our creek or what. And she said my Aunt. B. had heard that the Opryland Hotel was flooded so Mom asked about the mall. I said the mall was flooded, too. And she was all, “Well, it’s right by the river. It’s right by the river.” and I just wanted to scream about how every god damn thing here is right by a river when every creek is acting like a river and every river is flooding.

And then she asked again about our yard. And I explained again that our yard is mostly fine. And she says, “Oops, too bad for folks down stream.”

And I just have to get off the phone, as fast as I can because all I can think about are the people dying in their homes on Hummingbird and West Hamilton while my mulch and plants and crumbles of my driveway and the lid to our cooler swirled around them. And I know it’s nothing we did. And I know in real life the likelihood of our crap being there when they died is slim and none.

And during the day, I’m all “Nashville, fuck yeah!” and I a so proud of everyone, except those fuckers still watering their lawns or washing their cars, but at night, it’s hard.

I know we didn’t do anything wrong. But I feel so terrible. It’s not guilt, exactly. But why my day should be spent wondering how we’re going to repair the driveway and why their day should be spent in the cold, dry silence of death, it’s just not clear. I mean, it is clear. I was lucky. I live near a small stream. Whites Creek doesn’t make a right turn right by my house. There are a lot of reasons. None of them soothe me.

It’s not just gossip for me, I guess is what I’m trying to say. So, it makes these phone calls terrible.

And, yeah, the driveway is just fucking wrecked. And I’m not sure what we can do to patch it. I’m a wreck. I can’t even think rationally about it. And I feel bad for being a wreck. I need to make a list. I just need to make a list and then plod through my list, cling to my list like a guide wire, just following it without thinking.

It took me over an hour to get home from work. It usually takes twenty minutes.

I’m just babbling now, but the sound of my fingers on the keys makes me feel better.

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Come Down to Nashville, Check Out My Fingers, You Tour the Museums… Um, Shoot, Not the Museums… La la la la something, something

It occurs to me that, aside from donating to the Red Cross, the other thing you could do–not right now, but soon–is come here. Come here and spend your motherfucking money like it’s burning a hole in your pocket. Yes, it’s true, much of our cool stuff is fucked. And it will be for a long time. But a lot is not. You can still go to the Frist. Or Cheekwood or the Ryman or… um… well…

Okay, here’s the deal, World. We will put some corny shit together. Hell you can come ghost hunt in my back yard, once I’m certain that the bridges are safe. I will stack a bunch of rocks in a pile near the Kroger and you can visit the stack of rocks and take pictures. We will dye a cat green. We will have a cow-fart sniffing contest. I don’t know. I’m just brainstorming. But what I’m saying is, please come. We will feed you in our delicious restaurants. We will entertain you with our indomitable spirit and our desire to put a singer-songwriter in every space larger than 3×3 and call it a venue. Once we see what all needs to be done, we will put you to work putting us back together.

But please, come. Come and visit. Even if it’s boring and all the stuff you wanted to see is ruined, come anyway, and spend your money and help us get back on our feet.

Here’s something that will make you laugh.

And something that will make you cry:

And something that will make you smile.

Two Things that Don’t Smell Pleasant

1. Me. But it’s just day-old funk so I’m not taking a shower. It’ll be every other day until we get the all-clear.

2. And more worriesome–my bathroom. It smells a little like a swamp. I really, really hope this has not done my septic system in. I’m going to be saying “Fuhhhhuuuuck” for a while. Please join me.