Friday, November 2, 2012
It is all so surreal. NY is a different place. I left my house at 3:30AM this morning to head to LGA for a 7AM flight. Why so early? First, traffic is a nightmare, especially when there is a mandatory HOV restriction going into Manhattan and the checkpoint is at the airport. Secondly, Kenny needed to get into the city prior to the opening of that HOV checkpoint (6AM). We played it safe. On the way we passed a gas station with a line more than a mile long (at 3:45 AM). We passed two more stations without gas. We didn't hit any traffic, maybe it was due to the gas shortage, maybe it was due to the train restoration? Anyway, as I arrive at LGA 2.5 hours early, I am bid goodbye along with some rumbles of MAD MAX. Not sure I will have a ride home on Sunday, I may have to share a cab into NYC and hop on Metro North. After clearing security, I headed to get something to eat, I waited almost an hour for oatmeal and coffee, the airport sputtering a bit in the aftermath. While I sat and waited to board, I listened to a newly married Hasidic couple, she was pregnant with her first child. She was speaking about how hard this storm was on her sister, with 3 kids under 4. She lives on the top floor of a 15 floor building. Without an elevator she has had to walk up carrying 2 children totaling 45lbs combined, her husband refusing to help her as its deemed woman's work. Matter of fact, he claimed that the elders should shut the elevators in the building for a week each year so the women in the building could get used to such burdens. The reading I happened to be doing this week? Unorthodox so I found this eavesdropping both interesting and SAD. Chalk it up to a different culture. Kenny arrived in downtown Manhattan, still dark, and eerie as he put it. I can't help thinking about the possibility of Post Traumatic Stress as I am sure that eeriness draws up all kinds of post 911 junk (it would in me anyway). Southern NY is a mess, a much wider spread mess than that horrible day 11 years ago, but just the same, a dark downtown has to be heart-wrenching! I boarded my flight and took to the heavens just as the days light was coming up, the electricity of the landscape should have been evident, it was archaically dark, and looked undeveloped. It was hard to get over. People here don't understand, actually I am feeling like I have no right to even claim how bad it was, my neighborhood exploded and several buildings will require being torn down, but I don't live on the coast. I don't live in Long Beach, or Seaside, or on Fire Island. Sea water did not accompany the wind. In that sense we were good. Trees were just chewed up and spit out like projectiles. You know the way HS kids throw pencils into the drop ceilings whenever you have a sub? I am in Milwaukee now, removed from it, but find myself drawn to the pictures that I couldn't see all week. People don't understand,that is unless they experienced the gas lines of the 70's or maybe experienced Andrew or Katrina. I am not sure I will have power when I get back? I am not sure I will even be back to school on Monday? I arrived here a bit battered and so tired. I was not aware of how incredibly spent I was until I was able to relax a bit. Tomorrow, after a good nights sleep, I will finally enjoy watching skating.