The next day Kathy feels in better spirits, assuming that Zeitoun might have simply forgotten to call, but she still calls Claiborne periodically. After noon, she grows frantic again, and tells Yuko she needs to go to New Orleans. Yuko talks her out of this idea.
Though she begins in better spirits, Kathy’s penchant for staying organized, on top of things, and in control is threatened by her ignorance about Zeitoun’s whereabouts.
Ahmad calls Kathy, and he’s worried now, too. He says he’ll try to contact the missing person agencies and Coast Guard in New Orleans. In broken English, Ahmad writes an email to a Katrina “Relief Updates” address, asking for news.
Although Ahmad is even farther away than Kathy from New Orleans, he tries to assert his own kind of control over the situation through his own initiatives.
Then Zeitoun’s family begins to call from Syria, asking if Kathy has heard from her husband. Kathy feels increasingly burdened, and racks her brain for anyone she might know in the city who could help. She realizes she knows no one left in the city, and is struck by the fact that in 2005 there can be an entire city cut off from all communication.
Although Zeitoun’s close-knit family is obviously a gift, and it is striking how concerned they are for him, in this case their family bonds only serve to make Kathy even more anxious, feeling both responsible for and helpless about the situation.