Dating Sandy

I need a new t-shirt: I Survived Sandy and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt.

Well, I survived the hurricane, but don’t I have any pictures or stuff like that. Just my words, which are likely to be short.

First, thank God for FEMA and the Red Cross. I was able to recharge my devices at the FEMA shelter in Long Branch, and the Red Cross gave me a place to take a hot shower, the first one in nine days. It was an exhausting several days, and I felt as though I’d taken a bath in Crisco. Plus I had no phone (I still don’t so I need to keep using my mobile). But I have my TV back–and am disappointed to find that my usual Friday entertainment, Special Victims Unit, is not on today. (Correction: It came on later that day.)

It’s funny about people. Even the ones you think are crappy really aren’t. Lousiness is my own projection. People can be giving and generous if given half the time. Smiles and courtesy go a long way.

Funnier yet…how used we get to changes in our metabolism based on light and darkness. I had to eat out of the house every night during the power outages, and found myself amazingly tired by 9 PM. There are fewer things more enervating than sitting up in the dark, or waving a flashlight around just so you can read. I had a couple of insomniac nights, and was delighted to find out that my “smartphone” could reach Facebook. I didn’t spend a lot of time there, but I managed to access it anyway.

But I managed to finish Hilary Mantel’s magnificent Wolf Hall, the first of her three-part saga about the English statesman Thomas Cromwell, and also read the wonderful Chris Hedges’ Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, a infuriated study of the deliberate corporatized demolition of America, city and country, by the forces that have been screwing us over for years. Yes, including Obama, for whom I voted anyway if only to block the Ken Doll from squeaking in. I know: Jersey was a lock for Obama from Day One, but why take chances?

The lights came back on again 10:30 AM on Wednesday. And went out for about 45 minutes the next day. In both cases, the power included the elevator. The idea of walking up and down five flights was more than I could handle, especially with my legs and feet. For the first time, yesterday, the day after the snowstorm that followed the hurricane, I flew into a rage. The headline of one of the local cage-liners seemed to say it: “God Hates Us!” For awhile I was not about to disagree.

So now today it’s quiet and calm, the temperature’s gone up, and I’m headed out to pick up some  Chinese food to eat in here because I can actually see the stuff.

It’s a nice change. Indeed, heat, hot water, and electricity make for a comfortable if not lavish existence. Others lost so much and I lost almost nothing. I just hope my good mood holds, and I hope others did not lose too much either. And yes, I know about Mantaloking, Sea Bright, Staten Island, and the south shore of Long Island.

Be safe, everyone. Please.


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