I am extremely happy to report that I do not have a terribly dramatic tale to tell.
Hurricane Sandy struck Hoboken (and plenty of other places) with brutal force. But as usual, in Mr. Wow-land, for all my pessimism, cynicism, depressions and fears, B. and I emerged pretty much unscathed. (Honest, I always feel like a warped Cinderella; just when is midnight really going to strike?)
Our power was out for six days. But we still had the gas stove to cook. (B. used to say, “Why do we have so many can of soup on these shelves?” Now he knows.) Candles were lit. I read by flashlight. I think I went through ten books, including a few fave movie-star bios, some thrillers and a bit of Byzantine history. I watched “Shame” (Michael Fassbender!) and “Rosemary’s Baby” on my DVD player until it ran out of juice. I took agonizing cold showers. (Not because of Mr. Fassbender—there was no heat or hot water, and I like to be clean.)
I missed a doctor’s appointment and another trip down to the Department of Labor, where I was supposed to present a log of my job hunt. Of course I couldn’t make it. And it was closed anyway. And I couldn’t claim another week’s check because, obviously the computer was down. Sooooo…that preyed on my mind dreadfully and is still an issue. (When I got down there finally last week I discovered to my horror that I’d left my passport in my suit jacket, which I’d worn the night before. It’s my only photo ID. So, back again next week.)
In the dark, despite all attempts to divert myself, I, as usual, internalized this huge event, which I knew was ruining and ending lives, allowing it to drive me into a desperate state of depression. This was it, this was a sign. All hope was lost. My left eye was paining me. I have to see my dentist. Maybe I won’t be eligible for further benefits. I have $9,000 in the bank. I have wasted and ruined my life. I should leave B. and set out alone and die on the streets someplace which is what I deserve. I kept trying to make my head explode. (Honest, I thought I could do it.)
Even after the storm subsided and I saw the wreckage of the streets and what some of my neighbors suffered in water damage, I couldn’t rouse myself from myself. The darkness at night was driving me crazy. I was a joy to be with, barely uttering a word to B. (When I am like this, I feel keeping silent is merciful for him.) He’s not too crazy about the dark and lack of diversion himself. So there was a good deal of hibernating. Two bears slumbering.
I upped all my meds. There were no afternoon margaritas. No coffee. If nothing else, I was having a nice little cleansing. No appetite. Lost about eight pounds. The pants I’m wearing right now keep falling off my pert little ass. (I always take stairs two at time—excellent for the legs and rear.)
You all know I’m not religious, tho I’m always ready for a good chat on the subject. But I surely live under a lucky star. And I’ve always known it, no matter how I might bitch and worry and lacerate myself. (Hmmm…when I get to where I’m going, eventually, won’t I be surprised when He greets me with: “Ahhh…about that ‘lucky star’ stuff, wanna re-think it?”)
But now I feel as if I live under dozens and dozens of lucky stars. I do mean all of you. You overwhelm me. And when I say I love you, I’m not kidding. I hope those of you on the east coast didn’t suffer and were much less self-involved than Mr. W.
I’ll ask B. what organization is the best to send donations, and I’ll put in something. The Red Cross probably. It won’t be a lot, but even if all it gets somebody is a few cans of soup, well, I now know how vital a few cans of soup can be.
Thousands and thousands of people are still without power. I look at that and I am ashamed I allowed my six days of inconvenience to undo me as it did.
P.S. A lot of people were concerned about me. Several friends from Manhattan even came in with food and water! (I was thrilled and grateful, but not very welcoming, because of the sloppy condition of our house. “Don’t let people in!” I yelled at B. as he opened the door.) Among those concerned was my boss. (I heard about it, somehow.) I have known and worked with my boss since 1981. It has always been an intimate environment and relationship. In an unprofessional person (me) it has not encouraged maturity or a professionalism I can translate to another job. So far. Sometimes, inevitably, the relationship was volatile. I quit in 1999, only to return a year later. It had been, essentially, the only “real” job I have ever had.
I was extraordinarily touched by my boss’s fear that I had been swept into the Hudson River. That doesn’t mean I’m not still stunned about being laid off, and given to being swept away with some free-flowing bile. But after all these years we are family and I frankly wouldn’t know myself if I wasn’t somehow still involved with Boss. I guess that’s not really a good thing. I should have gotten to know myself a long, long time ago. And maybe it’s not too late.
But for now, I’m still here. And there. And it’s not the worst place to be. And even if I get there, I’ll still be here, in some way. Get it?
Holding a good thought for everyone in my life
Just as I was when I voted for Barack Obama four years ago, I did so with a heavy heart. I did not believe he was going to win. (Of course I was a Hillary man, so that played a part in my reticent attitude.) I feared a long brutal battle to discredit him in a tight race this year. You know, sometimes it is better to be pessimistic. Mostly, one is pleasantly surprised. When I returned from an evening event (just like last year) I was greeted by B. who said, “Obama won!” To say I was happy and shocked would be a vast understatement.
The first thing I said to B. was, “Oooohhh! Let’s watch FOX for a minute!” Everybody looked like they’d just be told their entire families had been murdered. It was great. But I didn’t linger. Even for me, the palpable misery there was hard to look at. I didn’t bother with MSNBC. I’d seen Chris Matthews’ spittle and hyperventilate enough. And Rachel Maddows’ rapid-fire delivery and endless journey to the simplest point no longer amuses me. I actually turned on TCM.
We’ll see what Obama can do with his last term. The handling of the Benghazi debacle hadn’t pleased me. I found him most unconvincing. Now he’s squaring off again with Boehner, in anticipation of the “fiscal cliff” we’re all about to fall over. My cliff has arrived so I’m less nervous. Fatalistic—at least in regard to my own future. And David Petraeous! Resigns over an affair? Much more on this to come, I fear.
On to trival matters. Anticipating seeing “Skyfall” and “Lincoln” with two of my favorite Daniels (Craig and Day-Lewis)…Wish I’d made a big money bet that Lindsay Lohan would cancel her interview with Barbara Walters. (If the Lohan parents went over an embankment tomorrow, that’s Lindsay’s only hope.) ….I am happy to have an iPhone, but I still don’t understand how people read, text, look at photos and generally conduct all their business out of the palm of their hand. It’s certainly no good for surfing porn. Everything is very tiny. But, I am comforted by having a phone in case of emergencies…Kind of looking forward to seeing Madonna at MSG, though she has done some really dumb shit on this tour. Saw her in Philly when the U.S. leg of tour began and—as usual—there are always brilliant, exciting moments. But, she’s gotta take off the cheerleader outfit and go a bit Dietrich. She is still is young woman. I mean, only 54. People talk like she’s 70! But she tries too hard, and it is that stubborn effort that ages her beyond her years…And I have decided that CNN has a death real wish. The absurd people they have on. This guy, Don Lemmon, who recently engaged in a “twitter feud” with the actor Jonah Hill? Lemmon came off like an insecure little schoolgirl. (And he does lousy interviews.) I don’t think newspeople should be on Twitter. It’s utterly undignified.
Well, I think that’s it for now. Although I find more to carry on about in my responses to any of your comments. That’s always fun.
It’s cloudy here in Hoboken and the sidewalks are still piled high with distressing signs of what Sandy wrought—furniture, entire floors ripped up, books, sentimental items ruined beyond saving, toys, clothes, computers. I walk past it, to a house that’s messy, not well-decorated, but whole and undamaged. And to a person who cares and exhibits remarkable patience in the face of…me.