Part two of the essay "The Tiniest Bit," from Hollis Gillespie's* Trailer Trashed:
"That day the New Orleans airport was a lot like the city itself: dead but not dead, animated by oddities that should not be there, like the National Guardsman who pulled the Jetway to our plane, and the tented 'hospital' on the tarmac where actual surgeries were performed, and the Red Cross workers, and the makeshift morgue. Most people had a gun or a badge or both, and those who didn't, the minority, were evacuees. They wandered aimlessly in clothes that were not theirs and, oddly, almost all of them were wearing brand-new baseball caps bearing industry logos.
I did not make it to the morgue because a truck had pulled up a few hours beforehand with a litter of sixteen puppies, which were each almost immediately adopted by disaster workers, who then walked them on improvised leashes throughout the atrium. It was probably almost the only thing that could have brought light into the eyes of these bereft people, and in the end that was worth seeing more than a makeshift morgue.
In all, it made me wonder about the world, the sorrow and loss, how lasting that is, how thick and insurmountable it seems, and then I saw puppies. And then I remembered how an elderly gentleman once danced in the street with a kind-hearted cleaning lady--held her in his arms like the perfect daffodil that she was--and I remembered the beauty of that, the aching grace of that, and suddenly I realized the tiniest bit is enough. The tiniest bit flavors the rest." (pp. 39-41.)
It's not a perfect book; it jumps around a bit too much and could have benefitted from an editor's imposing of a bit of order or structure or something. But I'm going to go out on a limb and call it like I see it: that is PERFECT essay. And I thank Hollis Gillespie for it.
*I also have a soft spot for Gillespie because she says "Jesus God..." a lot, which is a blasphemous bad habit I share. You can get away with the occasional "Jesus God" at work a lot easier than you can "Fuck sake."