Deep South Destruction

By Tessa Pelias

Blurred images flicker and fade as I drive farther, faster, deeper into the heart of the South. Louisiana – home of my extended family, and recently, the land of the lost.

I can see it everyone’s faces: bewilderment, confusion, despair. Years washed away like nothing. As I round the winding road and enter the boundaries of Creole, La., the color seems to drain. Everything is brown, dirty, molding, dead. The color of destruction covers the once lush ground. My mind flashes to a time of color . Mardi Gras, lights, jazz. Where are you spirit of New Orleans?

Still driving, I come to what I’m sure was once a town. American Flags and chaos fill the air with a kind of ironic thickness I cannot seem to shake. I see a bathtub floating conspicuously in a creek and guiltily laugh at the absurdity of man and nature.

Leaving the safety of my car, I wander the dust-coved pieces of street. My camera is my shield. I meet a family, no different than my own, rebuilding their home from scraps of nothing. I feel myself fill with rage as I picture rich corporate company men in black designer suits sipping martinis as this family . my family . all of our families struggle to pick up the pieces of broken dreams. I shudder. This place stings me like the calm before a storm.