Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Connections: A Super Storm Memoir, Day 3

Something so intimate about the notes people left for each other.   
Lara has asked me to share the journal I kept when we were without power after the Super Storm slammed us.

This is my entry for Tuesday, October 30.  The election was just a week away; can I just tell you it was nice to get a break from all that?

Tues, Oct 30, 2012

9:00 am:  I woke up.  I dreamt last night that there was power.  I actually woke earlier, at 4:30, and fed the cats who seemed restless and hungry.  Now I'm awake, eating the warming yogurt I still have in the dark fridge.  

I wonder if there will be looting.

I just tried to make a call.  Cell doesn't work.  Home phones don't work.  This is all making us quieter.  Z is awake and asks if we have power.  She is sad she can't get in touch with her friends.  That's kind of unfathomable to her.  

10:20 am:  Avram still plays the ukelele.  I'm glad we have an acoustic instrument.  I'm thinking about what we have to eat.  Everyone's routine has become completely disrupted.  The whole rhythm of the week--the way I slam my body around town.  I'm not needed like that right now.  I'm not going through those motions, so I have to figure out what else I can do with myself.  How to get through the day.

No hot water.  

10:30 am:  I'm leaving the apt now.
Listening to radio updates about power.

11:30 am:  Just took a walk with Z around the neighborhood.  Everything closed except one hotel restaurant.    Branches are strewn everywhere in the streets.  Piles of branches.  The sun is out.  We found one small bodega lit by candles.  We bought four AA batteries and candy for S, in case no one has candy for her tomorrow.  I handed over 10 dollars and told them to keep the change.  I don't know why I did that.

11:50 am:  Our governor just referred to climate change on the radio.

12:15 pm:  Looks like we have a little hot water in the pipes.  It's nice to hear A play so much ukelele.  

Walked up to 14th Street to help Z look for friends.  I didn't think we'd find them, but we did.  Z ran into M, and we found N at home after awhile.  Z was thrilled and decided to stay out with friends.  I hope she makes it home okay.  No way to contact her if she doesn't.  N's not going to spend Halloween with S, which makes us both sad.  

S and I walked home down Avenue B and noticed that Continuum Coffee was open.  They had opened by accident.  The owner told me that people just followed him in when he opened the doors.  They were heating water for coffee on a wood stove.  They had some coffee already ground.  They'd tried to grind a nicer bean by generator and blew up the generator.  

The owner was personing the counter.  We bought two cupcakes and he knocked a dollar off of both of them.  The pizza place on the corner was handing out free slices, but there was already a line.  We bought a whole pineapple at another open bodega, also running by candlelight.  I handed them five dollars.  I really should watch my cash.  

S bought a sandwich at the same Subway where she'd eaten before the storm.  The same middle-aged Latino man was in their alone, this time without a TV to distract him.  They were selling six-inch sandwiches for three dollars.  I worried about their mayonnaise.  Weird that they're still open.

I still haven't made any contact with my family in the West.

5:30 pm:  Took an uptown free bus to civilization--a parallel universe.  West Germany.  People enjoying their lives.  We got off the bus randomly and ended up at the first restaurant that agreed to charge our phones.  I had a spinach pie and Greek salad.  I realized I hadn't eaten much all day.  Downtown, our world is pitch black and feels life-threatening.  I don't know what lurks out there now except for the 20-somethings standing in the dark with flashlights, angling their phones for better connections.

1 comment:

  1. Nice account, Julie. You really communicated that feeling of NYC & New yorkers in the urban darkness. Without power yet not powerless.