View from my kitchen window – photo by Michael Rovin
First – I must acknowledge my sorrow for those who have been hit hard by the storm. Although I haven’t had power and was unable to learn the extent of the distress experienced by some, I heard enough to appreciate how fortunate we were in the West Village this past week.
Monday night, we were smack dab in the middle of our incredibly predictable routine of watching a Frasier re-run (with Island Niles) in our way too comfortable lounging clothes, eating something surely unhealthy and in general doing nothing at all that mattered to anyone, ever.
I heard the air-conditioner dwindle.
The lights went.
I held tightly to Dr. Doom’s arm and said “I’m scared”.
At first I was panicked because it was suddenly pitch dark and maybe 4 minutes later I was unthinkably distraught because the realization set in that I couldn’t watch Niles courting Daphne or Benedict Cumberbatch’s obnoxious, arrogant sexiness thrill me on BBC’s “Sherlock” or even scraping the barrel to watch Tony Shaloub displaying the most amusing OCD behaviors on “Monk” (I did however miss my obscene yet wonderfully supportive on-line community…you know who you are).
We didn’t give half a shit about anything but the fact that I wasn’t able to ‘Pin’ a picture of a cute pair of shoes or Dr. Doom’s inability to attempt, with all he is, to demolish any opposing political views on Huffington Post.
The next day brought even more elation as we discovered our running water was out of the race. And – I had my period – and I use tampons (you now know that).
I swear, not having water was secondary to not having electronic entertainment.
How would I text J that I had a disappointing tunafish sandwich or that I didn’t like my hair that day? Jesus – the world seemed unfair, dreadful, GRUESOME!
I must also mention that before this week I was becoming pretty chummy with agoraphobia and the mere idea of going outside was need for my homeboy-xanax and daily check-ins with the best psychotherapist on the planet (yes, I’ve been to enough of them for that statement to hold water).
I’m not sure exactly when the metamorphosis first took hold. It may have been during the awareness that all there was left to do was interact with my boyfriend – have a conversation or something comparably absurd like that.
Here’s how it went:
My first husband (JP) is the ‘go to’ guy. Anything you need from pantyhose to a jet engine – he’s your man. If he doesn’t have it or know it, ‘his people’ do. In this case, we bow down to Rob. Rob gave us POWER. A 50lb. battery belt to recharge our unnecessaries once home, to which I strapped to my chest and walked sheepishly down 7th Avenue looking like a suicide bomber.
And Rob had a working toilet! And engaged us in a thrilling gabfest from ‘El Cid’ to parenting and gave me hope that our world will not be overrun by hideous, web-addicted, porn-obsessed hoodlums. His kids did not grow up with computers or cellphones. His family has 1 (ONE) tv, where their viewing is monitored and directed towards classics and other good shit. ONE television?! We have 2 flat screens in a modest 1 bedroom NYC apartment. I was pretty sure that without them, we would, without doubt, die of underconsumption of the most unnecessary and ridiculous substance at our disposal.
Dr. Doom & I played ‘Monopoly’ (which I won twice) (sorry M but I have deemed gloating acceptable on my blog), played with flashlight images on the wall and ate as much junk as we could carry up 15 flights. We began to enjoy each other’s company again (not that we didn’t before but without any outside stimulation).
It got to a point where we were actually able to watch movies on a laptop at home…but didn’t. We had lost interest.
I picked up a book. I haven’t read a book in 10,000 years. It felt uncomfortable and awkward in my hands, but with a flashlight propped on my shoulder the familiar satisfaction came flooding back to me.
We had been using our filled bathtub water to flush undignified contents of our toilet away from us. Yesterday there was only one bucket full of water left. With the closest toilet 13 blocks away, we became justifiably alarmed.
4:30am I felt Dr. Doom sit up with a fresh energy.
Our electricity had turned back on. The first thing he did was giddily flush the toilet accompanied with a giggle similar to Nog from Deep Space Nine (I’ll be satisfied with even one acknowledgement to this reference).
I still haven’t showered because I needed to share this experience with you before I lost the significance of the lessons I’ve learned.
So, to wrap it up, Sandy was at most inconvenient but it has brought me out of an ugly, uncomfortable place to a hopeful and light-hearted preserve that was long buried and I am seriously grateful for that.
Time to go OUTSIDE, gladly step in a wad of gum on the sidewalk or a pile of disregarded dog shit and appreciate how lucky I am…
I will resume my invaluable particulars and superlative insights into the spa industry as soon as I replace the horrific, spoiled contents of my refrigerator.