Friday, July 08, 2005

I, Aggravated


Being just outside Orlando for the past 18 months, one would think I'd be prepared for these hurricane warnings, and all the shit the news throws out there. I am not. Nor was I prepared last year for Charlie. Imagine my surprise when my power was out for 6 days. The water was not fit for consumption, or even for showers. No stores were open, and there was no gas available anywhere. Life became zombie-fied. Add into the equation I was in school at the time, and you really get a sense of just how ill prepared I turned out to be, and how shitty and smelly class was. I spent nights in my truck, with the A/C on. Since the truck has to be running for the air to work, I had to ration out my air service to conserve gas every couple of hours. Of course, I could have alleviated this by filling up my tank, pre-storm. My cell phone sat on the brink of death. I had to drive, again wasting precious gas, to Chick-Fil-A and plug into their outdoor power. (being in construction, I knew there would be back-up power at a place of business) But prior to Charlie hitting, and even on the first night, I smiled and laughed about it. Being from the northeast leaves you with a certain cynicism, and a been there, done that demeanor. I am a cynic/realist. But I also have an extremely dark sense of humor, so I feel this balances out my personality. I'm not a doom and gloom person. (actually, yes I am) At least, I don't bore people with my doom and gloom...

Anyway, I went as far as walking outside with my camcorder(and a pint of vodka for good measure) in the middle of the Hurricane for 2 hours. I loved it. I was the last man on earth. Besides those kids swimming in the apartment complexes pool. What were they thinking? (then again, what was I thinking?!) I crossed the 6 lane highway with ease, in total darkness as the winds and rain tried to dissuade me. The lightning crashed behind me at one point, and I believe a tree was on fire. Ha! It was going to take more than that to stop me! I couldn't see a thing, since all the street lights were out, and there was no moon visible. After gallivanting around town, mocking my very existence, tempting the sky to hit me harder, I made my way back to my apartment. As I turned into a little alcove of sorts which leads to my door, a tree was uprooted right beside me. A big tree. I did not run. I stood next to the tree as the roots ripped and twisted into the most frightening roar I ever heard. I dared it to fall on me. It didn't. It fell forward onto my neighbors car. I called my friends up in Jersey with the in depth report, in which case every one of them told me I'm crazy and to 'Get inside!' Obeying orders, I finally get into my apartment. The power has been out for 4 hours now. It'll be on at any moment, I tell myself.

And this is where my jovial outlook took an exit, stage right. I didn't prepare. No food, water or candles. No batteries for the flashlight. I ate tuna for 4 days in a row. (My cat may have enjoyed this, but that's another story) I turned from fun lovin' storm watcher, to storm victim in 24 hours, and it was the worst experience of minimalist living I have ever encountered. It was the most horrific 6 days of my life. To add insult to injury, it was the first major hurricane to hit Orlando head on in a really long time, or ever. And it was just in time to welcome me to my new southern home. Needless to say, I flew back to Jersey and missed the other hurricane that hit Orlando. But now, it appears another horrific season awaits me. True, Dennis isn't supposed to hit here, but I know the worst is yet to come. And I won't be mocking the skies for awhile(at least until September).

Remind me to tell you about my 25 hour straight, blizzard ridden, drive from Jersey to Florida another time. The God's did not want me down here, and still may not. I can only pray for California when I move there. My girlfriend is positive the earthquake will hit as I pull into LA. Look out!

4 Comments:

John Donald Carlucci said...

I'm on the Tampa side and I hate the hurricanes. I would rather face earthquakes any day. I slept through the quakes in LA. I had no problems with those fellows. I was told about a guy from a mutual friend who moved to LA and stayed for one quake before moving back. Blah!

JDC

dennos said...

As much as I hate the people here, I guess the grass isn't always greener on the other side. I'll stick with the severe change of weather.

JD said...

Well, it looks like me and Katie will be back in Jersey for awhile before heading out west, so I guess I should prepare for 10 degree days. Time to turn the air to 55!

Anonymous said...

Ahhh 555... perfeeect