A Mississippienne in Yankeeland
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Yesterday me and Stephen (Texas) drove into D.C. and visited the Smithsonian and the Natural History Museum. Very fun, except it rained the whole time and we got soaked running to and from the subways. After we got back to the Point we stayed up late watching "Gone in Sixty Seconds" (surprisingly not crappy) only for a blackout to cut in halfway through. Unfortunate discovery: the Point is seriously creepy at 1am when you have no power.

I slept till 3pm today! My roomie Heather is home, just a brief stopover before she leaves on disaster Friday.

Monday, September 27, 2004
So I'm back at the Point. Flew in Saturday night from Tampa, slept for eleven hours, watched "Love Actually", and had a good cry. My Red Cross stint ended on the 25th, and I opted to come home rather than extend. I did my time, paid my debt to humanity.

Americorps hired a new counselor named Holly. Such a Christmasy name. We talked for a couple of hours today. I told her about how desperately lonely I am, and how sometimes I think that if I could just fix whatever it is wrong with me, then people will like me and someone would fall in love with me. Maybe my soul wouldn't ache so much. My friends don't understand why I'm not satisfied with simply turning a guy on. What's the point of being sexy, if you don't attract people worth attracting?

I think I'll take a trip into DC tomorrow, maybe catch a train from there to Virginia or someplace. Who knows?

Saturday, September 18, 2004
Red Cross has been really good about helping me get counseling for my depression. I went today to see a psychiatrist and being able to vent my feelings and understand why I feel so sad has helped out a lot. She said, and I agree, that I need continued counseling. Travis and I talked yesterday too which helped sort through my feelings on this new team.

Obviously the strong-and-silent act isn't working. I put forth my best effort today at the WH and got good and sweaty loading the ERVs. Doing a hard day's work really made me feel better. Also I hung out in the hot tub today with 4 cute guys from FEMA who flirted up a storm with me, so that improved my general mood as well.

Fortunately, my entire clan dodged the bullet and is safe and sound. Mississippi 4Evah!

Thursday, September 16, 2004
Same old Jessica, still in Sarasota, now with all-new stressed out depressed taste! So Ivan's skipped us for the most part and is marching up the MS-AL state line. My whole family's being lashed by a force of nature and no-one on this godforsaken team even cares. I take that back, Wanda and Katie asked me how my family was doing, but everyone else couldn't care less. This whole disaster thing had me in the doldrums to start with, now I'm really depressed and sad all the time. None of my teammates except for Wanda will talk to me or ask me how I'm doing. I begged her last night to tell me what it was about me that makes people not like me. "You're not doing me any favors by sparing my feelings," I said, "just tell me what it is or what I do." She said she accepts me and thinks I'm great just the way I am.

My team is awful though. They all seem to think I'm such a pathetic freak. When I try to speak to them they ignore me and even Travis acts like I'm more of a bother than a teammate. Wanda told me just to be my usual funny and charming self, but it's not working. I've been talking to the Mental Health Counselors but I don't know how to solve my problems. All I want is for my teammates to joke with me and invite me along on things and not treat me like a leper. I'm so depressed all the time all I want to do is sleep and I spend too much time alone. I walk around with this stricken look on my face like I wish death would claim me. I cry hysterically for hours at a time. I'm so lonesome.

We've gone to the beach for the last couple of days now, and yesterday the storm was kicking up some monster waves so swimming was a challenge. Adam and Travis raced out to challenge Ivan like some modern-day Canutes. So of course I swam out there with them and stayed just as long among the 15-foot waves as they did. I thought maybe they'd respect me for keeping up but Travis just keeps ignoring me. Sometimes I just want to scream at them and tell them how miserable they make me feel.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004
I'm in Sarasota at the mo', living in a hotel with my new team (Wanda, Adam, Erin Dina, Rebecca, Aaron, Eve, Amanda, Neal, Katie, and me). We're still working at the ARC warehouse and delivering food and supplies to service centers. I'm writing now from a service center in Winter Haven, FL. So far I haven't seen any damage, but Ivan's heading for AL and MS and the Panhandle, so I may be seeing everyone sooner than I thought.

Thursday, September 09, 2004
I'm in Tampa, FL right now, after flying in yesterday. Americorps is assigned to DR 810, cleanup for Hurricane Charley, at least until Hurricane Ivan shows up. We're currently in-processing, I'm supposed to start working later today or tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004
I've been assigned to DR #859, Hurricane Frances, Mass Care Technician. Nine members of our super-team were shipped out this morning for Florida, including my roomie Elise. The 859 group won't be leaving for a couple of days. As it is, we're still in Atlanta and sitting tight. Me and Natalie walked 2 miles to the movie theater the other day to see "Hero" (highly recommended, btw). We talked about God music and why Christian rockers shouldn't be allowed to sing death-metal. Death-metal is about rage and pain and hatred that infects your soul, and it's bizarre to hear grinding guitars, a pounding wave of drums and then, rising above it all, the singer's primal scream of "PRAISE GOD.... JESUS MAKES ME ROAR!"

Sunday, September 05, 2004
I'm writing from the Red Cross staging area in Atlanta, Georgia right now. Me and 25 other Americorps peeps flew in yesterday and took up residence at the LaQuinta. We've been attending seminars mostly, waiting to be shipped down to Florida early next week. I'm assigned to Mass Care, Andrea is an ATL (Acting Team Leader). Btw, funny conversation held earlier today between me, Eve, Stephen, and Mycah.

Eve: You know, Selena was shot by her best friend outside a LaQuinta in Corpus Christie.
Stephen: [singing] On the radio, oooooh, on the radio...
Mycah: Really? I didn't knowMussolina died in Texas.
Eve: Mussolini? What are you talking about? We were talking about the singer Selena!
Mycah: Oh. I thought you said Mussolini!
Me: Though it would certainly been interesting had the fascist dictator of Italy been shot by his best friend outside a LaQuinta in Corpus Christie, no.

Friday, September 03, 2004
I just got the call 20 minutes ago: I've been selected to go to Florida for Red Cross Disaster Relief. I'll be flying out in the next 24 hours. I'll be staying a max of 3 weeks, maybe less. I'm packing now.

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