the air hung heavy as we squeezed our way into the memorial area, the musky deterioration of the coagulation of life permeating into our lungs and our heads and our hearts this past week. it was unfair to be such a bright, sunny, day.
cars lined all sides of the street: metal carcasses swallowed by the receded waters, soggy, waiting for redemption from their disrepair.
right away our hostess appeared, as if frolicking across a field, picking wildflowers in the grasses between the mountains concealed as homes. upbeat, she ignored all usual co-worker customaries, and rightfully so in this abated bayou bottom.
rather, she directed us to the properties around the street in which we could serve, truly ignoring any needs of her own chateau in lieu of others, a true godsend to her grieving neighbors. we obeyed.
we cascaded towards the work in which we found ourselves that day. our souls unprepared for the gravity of the scene around us.
some toiled right away: splintering, swinging tools, destroying indoor barricades residents had built up over decades of life. no wall was safe.
every memory was hacked to pieces, exposed, thrown to the curb for the world to see.
we felt a sense of accomplishment as debris piled around us.
others preferred to excruciatingly peel back the memories one layer at a time, working with homeowners who culled on every object presented.
in reality, we seemed to only pull away the outer sheaths of organs; the tight transparent coating spilling centuries of confessions onto the cold, wet floors.
we were awash in putridity.
a sense of sadness began to fill the air as some realized how sombering the work was.
survivors guilt began to build in those who live in houston and were unaffected, while anguish churned inside those who had traveled to assist, both discovering the sudden immediacies of their work.
their tear-filled eyes argued with their placating bodies as they went back in. it was rough, y’all.
the beauty in the emptiness was serene.
homeowners began to query as to our intentions, the memorial area of houston long-forgotten in the time since Harvey, and even more so now with impending twin storms in florida.
it was unfathomable we were here to just help.
but we were, and we did; we made a small dent for one street. one. how much more is there to do, y’all?
we’ll be back.
#houstonstrong #texasstrong #allerganstrong