On Hurricane Sandy – reflections during power outage

When the power went out around 9pm on 10/29/12, I had several hours for reflection ahead of me, particularly on Tuesday, 10/30/12.  I spent many of them asleep after a bit over a pint of Ommegang Three Philosophers (9.8% ABV!), but here is what I came up with:

Before the power went out, I made sure I kept my flashlight close to me.  This was smart.

When the power went out, I used said flashlight to hunt down my watch, the only portable battery-operated timepiece in my home and which I apparently have not consulted any time recently as it had stopped.  This was less smart.

It’s good to be a girl because I have approximately 30 candles [thankfully mostly unscented] and I’m not even using all of them [special thanks to Paloma and Liz for their contributions]. I am beyond grateful that I did not return the 100 pack of tealights to the shelf at Michael’s last Saturday as I had come close to doing.  I had thought to myself, “What am I going to do with 100 of these?” and began walking back toward the aisle to put them back, and then changed my mind for some reason.  I did the math and they could keep me reading/writing for approximately 5 days.

I have been considering getting a menorah just because they’re so pretty [have you ever seen an ugly menorah?].  I just wonder how offensive this would be.  But form and function…

I have a bathtub full of water because that’s what people said to do.  Honestly, I’m not sure what this is for — to be used for personal hygiene?  Flushing?  Emergency supply if under boil water advisory?

I don’t know when I should stop using tap water.  I have a decent supply already stored in bottles and jars, but just because the power is out, does that mean I shouldn’t use it to brush my teeth?

Thyme doesn’t catch fire — it smolders and burns away, but doesn’t hold a flame long enough to, say, light the stove.  I am literally saving match corpses for the purpose of, say, lighting the stove or other candles because I’m afraid I’ll run out of matches before the power comes back. Also I may have inadvertently blessed/cursed my home. Rejoice!/Fuck.

I probably shouldn’t be writing about this for liability reasons for my homeowners insurance.

I’ve made a sort of mental schedule as daylight is limited, although it’s not even sunny out so it’s still on the gloomy side in here.

Reading by flashlight isn’t as fun as it was as a kid.  I’m not sure I even did it or if it was something that just looked fun in movies/TV.

I am part of a community now, not just a building or neighbourhood.  We know each other’s names and pets’ names.  We give each other tips on where to get cell service and that ShopRite has a generator and is letting people charge their devices there.  I have a French press and Sean [owner of Diamond and Brandy] has dairy and together we have coffee.  When I lived in NYC, the only neighbours I knew either tried to sell me knives or asked if I knew a good delivery service [No and No].  It reminds me a bit of college [collegial/collegiate?  I own 3 etymology books and only have a dictionary on my phone], when one left notes on friends’ doors before there was texting.

It’s almost 4pm, so with only a few hours left of daylight, this is what I have accomplished today:

  • had 2 cups of tea, oatmeal, cold lasagna, 2 glasses of water [subconscious rationing?]
  • read a stack of comics
  • made long tapers from a cardboard box for, say, lighting the stove or candles
  • replenished tea lights in preparation for tonight
  • realized I should stop flushing
  • written this

I should try to read more Dune;  I’d rather save sleeping for when there is nothing else to do.

Maybe I’ll break down all those boxes and put away my laundry tomorrow, i.e. day home #3*.

Someone heard it may be a week before we get power back and longer before trains are running again**.

In my haste to retrieve 2 bottles of booze from my freezer, I almost crushed the tiny, who had managed to infiltrate the space behing the drawer [so not quite hasty enough for the tiny].

In a murderous rage, I decapitated the smoke detector.  I fell off the ladder, gained a slashed finger and a blood blister in addition to the beeping, which continues incessantly***.

I just realized this hurricane shares its name with a former colleague.  How apt.

All around us, power has been restored.  But there is a tree just outside our entrance that has been uprooted and taken out power lines and a car.  It’s getting dark again and I need to decide if I’m staying here or going to my boss’s family’s house****.

* It is now Sunday, 5 days later, and I still have not done any of it.

**  Power came back Thursday, 2.5 days after it went out.

*** An electrician came this morning and fixed it. Given the gas shortage and the fact that it’s a Sunday, I was extremely grateful.

**** Wednesday night, I had a hot meal and a hot shower thanks to my boss and his family, who  took me into their Boerum Hill home as a refugee.  However, I don’t know how their son got girls into his loft bed [they must have been more graceful and agile than I].


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