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Why Do People Live in Louisiana?

So, I finally broke down and sobbed while driving down the highway, bringing lunch and ice to the crew cleaning out my aunt's house: aunt, 2 cousins, lilsis, brother-in-law, and assorted friends of my cousins. I pulled off the highway, cried until the tears stopped, and got back on the road.

Then, tears still in my throat, I ranted into my phone's memo app because I am so fucking tired of and angry about the comments I've seen on articles about this, the tweets, the tumblr posts.

I can't figure out how to upload that audio file, and I wanted to. If you want that file, give me your email because I really love it.

But here's the poem it became:

Why Do People Live in Louisiana?
Written: August 17, 2016

I keep seeing all these comments about people asking:
“Why does anyone live in Louisiana,
and Mississippi, and Alabama, and Florida,
where there’s hurricanes and there’s floods?
Why does anyone stay,
why do they keep coming back?”

Why do people live in the blast range of a volcano?

Why do people live where the earth will
literally fucking shake beneath their feet and
open up and swallow them?

California’s on fucking fire
why does anybody live anywhere that can catch on fire?

Why do people live in fucking Tornado Alley?

Why do people live anywhere?

Weather happens, you shitheads.
Weather happens.
Usually there’s warning and this time there fucking wasn’t.

Why do people live here?
Because it’s home, you dickheads.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 17th, 2016 11:33 pm (UTC)
I've been seeing this float around facebook for a few days in response to the same question:

They don't understand why we live for this place, and why those that leave come back. They don't understand that we don't fly the fleur de lis around here, because it's the latest pineapple fad in home decor. And they certainly don't understand that when our eyes water in Tiger Stadium for Calling Baton Rouge like they do for the national anthem, it's not just because we love Garth so much. They think our cities stink, we sound funny, our roads are horrible, and that most of us don't surpass a 6th grade education. The media drools over a building fire in NY or a protest in LA but seem to ignore us when half our state is drowning.

They just don't get it... and they won't.....UNTIL they see us when our brothers and sisters are in trouble....until they see us wading to feed and rescue our neighbors, to embrace a stranger's loss with our own hugs and tears, and giving til we just give out... until they see black and white hands reaching for one another in the mud where they held up their fists in anger only weeks ago. Then they may get a glimpse.... just a taste... of what makes us Louisiana. And if they don't.... thats ok. We'll still know the difference in our people. You keep your fancy, I'll keep my people. ‪My family. My home.
Aug. 17th, 2016 11:37 pm (UTC)

I saw that; one of my cousins shared it on facebook. I blinked back tears.

I've nearly replied to so many comments with vitriol, but I really just don't have the energy right now.
Aug. 18th, 2016 12:46 am (UTC)
I won't lie...I've thought about leaving. And when I think about where I would go, I'm either left dealing with super storms and blizzards, earthquakes and forest fires or tornado alley. And then I realize, why would I want to leave here? Yes, we have hurricanes and tornadoes, both of which can end lives, but I love it here. Louisiana is so different from other places and I really wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

I've kept my mouth shut, too. People who don't go through what we do just simply don't understand.
Aug. 19th, 2016 06:02 am (UTC)

I find the mere existence of earthquakes terrifying, and tornadoes freak me out. I don't plan on ever moving because the majority of my family is here.
Aug. 21st, 2016 11:39 pm (UTC)
I'm with you on both fronts!
Aug. 18th, 2016 03:55 am (UTC)
People are blind idiots. Most of them also live in places someone has said "why would you live there?" about, and has likely defended the place they live as well, and yet they still, STILL, will not accept anyone else standing their homeground and defending their community as valid or commendable. It's sheer solipsism, and it's ugliest when it's directed at people who are hurting.

Home is home is home, no matter whose it is or what problems it might be prone to. Good on you for standing up for your place in the world. *hug* :-)
Aug. 19th, 2016 06:02 am (UTC)

Thank you!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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