Three Steps to Nowhere

Letter from New Orleans

"I blame me," she says thumping her chest like a penitent, not as an empty gesture, but like she could really punch through her own sternum and stop her heart from beating and keeping her painfully alive and aware. "I told people the government wasn't going to do nothing if this happened. And when the government was doing nothing, then what did I do? I told everyone how goddamn smart I was."

I climb out of the cab. She turns and puts her hand out.

"Tell your friends in Orange County don't forget us."

"I will," I say.

"No, really," she says, "tell them, 'Don't forget the people of New Orleans.'"

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