Tuesday, October 29, 2013

One Year Ago Today-Sandy

I am over jokes about hurricane parties.I am over traveling.I am over people telling me I am "Stronger Than The Storm." Most people who say these things mean well, but really-I am not a true navelgazer, and adding several years on rebuilding after a decade of recovery after injuries is,well, really insulting. I do not want people telling me to  "let my feelings wash over me". I am over my walkabout.I am over being inspirational.I just want to go home. I know there isn't one, though, and that stings. I miss my city,I miss my waterfront,I miss my coffee-I even mis things that were gone from before,like my cat,Gizmo. I have grown up,yes-in ways that I had no idea needed to happen, and I have formed new friendships, as well as realized who my real friends are. I had to bow out of being a bridesmaid with virtually no notice for the bride.I became my own family, the person I needed to rely on, and my invitation to all had to be ,"This is my ride.Stay if you want.Leave if you don't." I took no mercy.I learned that the men I will date fall into two categories-the ones who understand, and the ones that have no idea that even if I am not talking incessantly about Sandy,I still am a refugee. I changed my major from psychology, because-well-I have no business treating patients when I am perilously close.I am adamant in my need to take care of myself,because I am my own home. That may not make sense to anyone, but it's been a year of sporadic apartments, and,while I have lived with roommates and friends-this was my sadness to bear. I spent a lot of time alone-wanting to just reaquaint myself with my new life.And,believe me-it's new.It's like running up a flight of stairs and coming back down to a whole new landscape.
     The day of the storm,the day I didn't leave wasn't because I was being a hero, or trying to outwit nature-I had a headache. So that headache made me stay in bed and not really look at my phone.My sister left to go to her friends.I had no idea there was an evacuation.My architect called-he invited me to his place.I said no-then,when I changed my mind,the Path was taken out of service-I couldn't go. I sent him pictures of me cooking.He laughed and said he had no idea I was so domestic.I stayed dressed. My apartment flooded strangely,with 12 feet in the front, but the back being dry-and that was how I managed to get my door open.I grabbed my laptop-the one I am typing on, and my purse-and waded into water up to my waist.I had a staircase in front of that door-and held on,feeling the water grab me, and managed to jump onto the stairs going up to my landlady's place.I knocked on her door, soaking wet and freaked out.She was,too. There were 4 of us, me, her, her boyfriend, her very sick brother, and her brother's home aide. I became roommates with her brother, and we watched the water.As soon as Artie's pick up was covered,we started wondering if we should get everyone upstairs.The water was over my head.We fell asleep,finally.No lights, but cards, and my twitter. After the water went down...two days later-I volunteered to go see what was out there. I went to get cigarettes. The deli had no lights, but they had cigarettes.I found a charging station. And then-I started going through my apartment. I found my mom's photos.I tossed the rest of my life.

Special thanks:
Pat Rubino

And every single person who told me it would all be ok in the end.

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