I left my house this afternoon without a plastic bag to protect my things, including an incredibly rare thing–a hardcover book–that didn’t fit in my bag. This is never a good idea in New Orleans in the summertime. It was sunny as I headed to the gymnasium, but by the time I left, the thunder was sounding and I could see lightening in the distance. I actually love these afternoon storms, though I think I can only love them since I’ve not been through a hurricane. The sound doesn’t yet scare me, and I hope it never does. I wish I’d seen New Orleans before the storm, the broken levees, the total flooding. Who was here before? What was here before? What, or rather how, can I never see because all I’ve got are photographs from Before and During and Right After? At the same time, though, I escaped something that haunts so many souls here and elsewhere, where so many are who can’t or won’t come back home. But today I stopped quickly to snap this shot to mark that uncanny moment here where it feels like a sunny summertime but sounds and smells like a storm is coming. Then I put my head down and pedaled hard, making it to S.’s in time to save my book. One thing I already know about living in this place–nothing is safe.