I would like very much to be one of those people who can always make meaning and beauty out of something challenging and difficult, but today I'm not one of those people. And what follows is an extension of that failure. (Which is to both warn you and apologize.)
I am always, always, always, wear-my-heart-on-my-sleeve upset at tragic and devastating events. I am want-to-burst-into-tears-at-any-moment upset at the devastation that has come from Hurricane Sandy. There is so much I want to say and share here, but I'm actually too upset to be able to communicate it in any valuable manner. I feel guilty for feeling so upset, because I'm typing this from a Midtown Manhattan apartment that did not lose power, hardly felt the windows shake, and very basically is still standing.
What I do want to say right now is that I am safe. I am more than safe; I'm almost in the lap of luxury and I am so, so, so grateful. I am so grateful for everyone who checked in on me the past few days. It was so comforting for me to know that so many people were thinking of me. These are the important things.
My neighborhood in Brooklyn flooded. It appears as though everyone got out safely with the help of FDNY who had to rescue people from the second floor of their homes by boat. My neighborhood was not in Zone A and was not asked to evacuate prior to the storm. There is so much more I want to say about those three sentences, but I want to wait until I am far less upset.
My house in Brooklyn still has 3 feet of water in the first floor. There is a house (or large shed, nobody seems sure) that floated into my neighborhood and is still sitting in the road. There was at least 6 feet of water on my road, if not more. The electricity is still out and people are staying in shelters. Sewage backed up or broke and odor permeates the neighborhood.
I know most of this from social media, a very small part from my "house superintendent", and none of it from my landlord or other roommates. There are a hundred things I want to say more about in that sentence, but I am going to wait until I am far less upset. The buses are not running to that area, so I cannot return yet.
I have no idea what the future holds for me and I just have to take it hour-by-hour and day-by-day. And again, there is so much more I want to say, but I want to wait until I can look beyond the next couple of days.
In some ways, it is easy to wrap myself up in gratitude, because I am so grateful. At my core, I am so grateful to be safe, to have a wonderful place to stay, to be with family at this time, and that my Brooklyn neighbors are safe. I have moments when I am overwhelmed by that gratitude.
But I also have moments full of anxiety, impatience, frustration, and irritability. I am on day four of sleeping on my brother's couch and living out of a suitcase. I have no idea when it will be safe for me to go get any of my other things. I have no idea where I will be living next week. I hate feeling like I am not in control of my life and everything feels like it is out of my control right now. I feel guilty complaining about these things as so many face utter devastation, while I whine about inconveniences. But that is how I am feeling right now, and I can't write an honest post without recognizing those things.
So that's my update. There's so much more to say and in time, I'll say it. But I wanted to let you all know that I am safe and my heart is going out to all those impacted by the storm far worse than I.