Three utility trucks pulled up in front of the house at around 10 am. Ten minutes observing an insulted workman in a cherry picker handling wires and a gigantic fuse. It was like watching a spaceman repair the space telescope. My pulse increased when the moment came to throw the switch. The long pole extending up from the ground. Flip. All the lights in the house came on. Like magic. Connected.
Sandy, Day 8. Temperatures are dropping. Without power, we are experiencing what it must have been like in medieval times when people had to wear multiple layers of clothes inside just to stay warm. Our neighbor across the street is our squeaking wheel, a gadfly liaison with fallen tree removal and our state licensed electric company, LIPA. The town road crew came yesterday afternoon to take away the tree that was blocking our street. The tree was on the power lines. I am guardedly optimistic that the LIPA trucks will return with their skilled technicians. Boiled water on the grill for coffee. Today, I’ll continue to work on my novel.
Sandy, Day 6. Finished reading Ferdydurke last night. Our neighbor, bless him, offered one end of a live extension cord to us. Orange drop cords run snake-like all through our house powering only the essentials: two compact fluorescent lights (for reading), modem, router, wifi, and various portable electronic devices. Most importantly, our deep freeze is working again.
LIPA trucks spotted in the neighborhood. Three on our street, but when they saw the downed tree, they turned around and drove away. We waved from the street corner looking as forlorn as possible.
Spent the day revising one of my works-in-progress. And wrote a new scene.
Sandy, Day 5. Rumors of a gas shortage. Commuters in queues, idling, waiting. “I have a generator, but no gas to put in it,” says the guy from down the street. My neighbor says he can’t get to work. “Outta gas,” he says. Carpools forming spontaneously, out of necessity. School closing extended indefinitely. Soccer cancelled for the rest of the season. It’s starting to sink in just how major Sandy was (is?). The winds are gone. We are left with the aftermath. The clean up. Certainly not as bad as the days following Katrina for those living in New Orleans in 2005. A meaningless statement. General assessments (which average over individual horror) ignore particular stories. This might be a diverting return to primitive living for me, but for others, the price is much higher. Lost cars. Lost homes. Lives lost.