Sunday, July 08, 2007
My Life With Maggots
For the past year or so since the storm which destroyed my renovation house in Treme I have been dutifully going out to mow my lot around the foundation that is left. I feel strongly about my duty as a good neighbor to keep it clean. Most people would pay someone to do it for them but it makes me feel connected. I used to dig doing it. I like physical work but it's just become downright depressing lately. More and more, I have to psyche myself up.
Mowing around the foundation is part of the issue. The foundation represented my determination to rebuild. It could save me a lot of money if I ever can. Right now, it's a constant reminder that insurance companies have fucked thousands of us over. I always fantasize about what could be there and long for almost any structure to be a positive message to the neighborhood of victory and committment. In Historic Treme, any property up-and-running has a big impact.
Recently, someone who lives nearby has been dumping their trash on the easement out front. Last time, a week or so ago, there was a bunch of maggot-riden fish heads in newspaper along with the usual random beer bottles and Boon's Farm castaways. I am pretty hardened to trash issues since Katrina and can scoop up maggots/roaches with the best of 'em. Today, there was a bucket put up against the fence with flies buzzing around it and a repulsive smell which is still in my nose hours later.
In the past couple weeks, in addition to the fish-head moment, I had to pick up a dead cat, which my good neighbor helped me with. It sat in the hot trash for a few days, rotting . . . stinking. After the good people at SDT picked up that horrific load, I left my 90 gallon can out to get a rain-rinse and air-out in the sun. When I went the next day to get it and rinse it with the hose, someone had put their fucking crab discards and the styrofoam container in which it was served in my trash. This now had maggots too. I thought hard about dumping it out and bagging it up properly but I am getting worn down. Finally, I just threw some bleach in there and gave up on cleaning the can properly. It has killed the live-rot and the smell. My only small consolation here is that I guess it would have been on the street if my trash can had not been there.
I mowed around the worm bucket today on Gov. Nicholls today and took some photos but it was so gross that I could not touch it. It's there now as a science experiment. They left it, they can live with the next phase of this bio-hazard.
I took some more photos of my immediate area on Gov. Nicholls in Treme and put a little narrative on the photos. For all the bad things that are back in that area, there are just as many good things. The people who were working hard prior to Katrina are stuck; Lionel is gone, my neighbor Stephen no longer around working on his house. However, the houses that were stagnant across the street and in decline turned around. (Passebonne Cottage got grant money through the African American Museum.) This could be due to insurance money doled out or not doled out.
Photos of Gov. Nicholls @ N. Villere St/ Treme