Saturday, August 27, 2011

Come On Irene: Staten Island vs Mother Nature

This past week our wacky island vortex felt the aftershock of an earthquake (which I was completely unaware of by experience since I was driving) and as if the out of balance air of our urban sprawl wasn't panicked enough--whispers of hurricane Irene turned into a cacophony of "WTF's "as hysteria started to spiral. New York is used to experiencing all of the seasons, but natural disasters is not our bag baby. As for Staten Island, there is a certain ''je ne sais quoi" atmosphere that starkly separates us from the rest of the city. Perhaps it is a suburban mindset, but my hunch is that being an 'islander' does something to one's brain that seems to detach it from the rest of the continent. Granted, we are not prepared for these types of potential dangers, but what I fear most in times like these is not the force of mother nature, but the idiocy of mother----s who may put the lives of others in danger out of sheer fear of doom.

For the first time in known history New York City has decided to over-prepare. There are mass evacuations, public transportation as we know it is SHUT DOWN, businesses have been closed and boarded up, one cannot find D or A batteries in the tri-state area, and GASP the Verazzano bridge has halted tolls!! I found myself getting scared last night as a group of us started to build off each other's nerves and become unsettled over the litany of hearsay we were being told. We wondered, do we leave? Do we rush out to get more 'stuff', do we gather others? Normally I am pretty calm and optimistic--but as I looked at Addison playing I felt the world spin. Everything matters more now. Every decision has two lives at stake. As I scanned my phone for everyone I was worried about, wondering who I could help, what I could offer I realized--it's really just me and her. And that is plenty.

Waiting for Irene
I'm not going to lie, I am concerned--particularly for my loved ones and the many people around here who are less fortunate than me (I live far enough inland and high enough up not to be too concerned, plus the shelter is the school I work at which is less than a ten minute drive.) There are many low lying coastal neighborhoods that are surrounded by marshes and let's not forget the poor animals at the zoo, the hospitals, the senior homes. That sense of anxiety and displacement scares me more than rain and heavy winds. The unexpected is expected of the elements, it's with people that I get really antsy.

She loves to hide her lower lip! 
I wonder if I am too calm about this all--my anxiety levels can't break away from the zillions of things I want to get done as our last weekend of our old life comes to a close. I pray these natural oddities aren't omens of the year to come. Perhaps I am extra-calm to counteract the hysteria that wants to burst out--the combination of fears and frustrations that are looming around like the humidity--but now there is a child I need to believe for. We have food, we have water, we have flashlights and candles, we have pots filled with water just in case, our outside furniture is now in, the windows are locked...now we enjoy each other and relax. Is there more we can do?

For more information here are some sites that I have been keeping up with:

(Boy do I need to prepare more though right now I honestly think we are fine.)

No comments:

Post a Comment