I regress to nostalgia for the swamp whenever I feel overworked, harried, unreal. Swamp country holds something for me: apathetic, magical, disconnected, stark, human. Hurricanes and alcohol and crime, deteriorating land of poverty, necessity; it was a bad joke growing up in Texas, from which plastic kingdom we looked past the deteriorating roads and gateways sinking in kudzu into the fairy-tale land of poor relatives and cynical grandparents, the land where history started and reality stopped.
Last night I held the head of a friend from Baton Rouge who had cut off my joke about Louisiana with this -- "It's awful. All of my friends are coke addicts. Everyone's down. I don't ever want to go back."