Hurricane Irma is coming.
I have an ache in my stomach. I’m telling myself it’s from indigestion, but If I’m completely honest with myself: it’s from fear.
My thought process has changed a lot over the last few days. I’ve gone back and forth to write out my thoughts, and I’ve held back multiple times, mostly (completely) because I don’t want to worry my own mother. I was okay (enough) with one hurricane coming our way. It’s after one hurricane destroys a city that I get antsy. And it’s when ‘one hurricane out at sea’ turns to ‘three hurricanes out at sea’ where one of the three is absolutely, undeniably heading to my home and another is allowing shortly behind– that I start to enter panic mode. And then, when it’s waking up to discover an earthquake hit the place I was planning to be in three weeks time and possible tsunami’s in neighboring areas where I really start to lose my own shit. It’s not the idea of me being affected by all of it, but rather, us, as a collective group being hit by so much destruction all at once.
The whole “the hurricane will slow after is passes through the Bahamas” statement does not make me feel better. It does not make me feel more secure to know that other people and their homes are the slowing buffer between a ‘catastrophic’ hurricane and my home and family.
I look around and I see the things that will be damaged in our neighborhood. And I try not to think about the worst case scenario. I try to focus on the very minimal details that could happen. Trees uprooted, fences knocked down, roof shingles blown. And I try not to complain because I know no matter how bad it gets, there are going to be people who get hit worse and have gotten hit much worse. But I can’t help but have that creeping thought come into my head about our future plans. We were supposed to leave. Our house was not just our home, but our livelihood to our future. I’m trying not to break down and cry right now because Marlowe keeps running in and out of this space, but its hard.
I don’t want my home destroyed. This was my way out. My means to Guatemala. And maybe its a weird kind of selfish to want your house intact just so you can leave and spend your life donating your time to other people elsewhere, but I don’t know. This was a plan. My goal. Gosh, I know I just need to keep telling myself that everything will be fine. Part of me is harboring anger. At myself and Alex. I should have booked flights out. I should have left. We waited too long.
And now we’re stuck. “Riding it out.” But what happens later? How will this place be affected by the storms. And how will our future hold up after this earth quake? Will there be more earth quakes? Stronger earthquakes? No one knows yet. I lost my shit this morning after hearing about the earthquake. It’s too much. It feels like not only is my surrounding life is in danger, but my dreams are too.
I mentioned it, but the damage of Hurricane Harvey shook Floridians hard. It’s been a scene from a movie out here. Gas stations are sometimes 50+ car waits to fill up. And others are empty, not a person in sight, because their gas has run out. Whole shelves at the stores are empty. No water. Hardware stores are out of wood, flashlights, batteries, and more. And the hurricane hasn’t even hit yet. This is what I imagined post storm, not prior.
It’s so weird to have a sunshine flowing in through your windows while you sit and wait for disaster. We’re waiting. Sitting ducks waiting. I always joked to “be more like the flamingo.” Theres a flock of flamingos living in the Andes. And every night they fall asleep standing in a lake. And every morning, they wake up frozen in that same lake. And as the lake defrosts they make their way out. And everyday it’s the same process, a show of them stumbling, falling, and face planting right into the ice. I used to think, “how nice to be like the flamingo” to care so little about the inevitable pain that will occur from falling asleep in a lake that inevitably turns to ice night after night. I once thought being ‘like the flamingo’ sounded like a dream, such ignorant bliss. But today, I truly feel like the flamingo and it doesn’t feel like a blissful dream. I feel like a dumb sitting bird that should have known better. I don’t want to be like the flamingo anymore. I don’t.
For two and a half years I’ve woken up every single day with the same thought in mind: I want to feel better so I can live all my dreams and life through. Every day I’ve worked endlessly hard to heal, to improve, to feel good, hell, just to feel okay. Selfish maybe, but I can’t escape those thoughts– I just want to keep moving forward. I want to see all my dreams through. I don’t want to be held back anymore. By myself or by anything.
I’m starting to break down. The tears aren’t really being held back now. I don’t want pity. I truly don’t. I’m not updating this space for that. I’m updating to document. I started blogging 17 years ago for this. To document my story. For release.
Don’t pray for me. Please pray for all of us. For everyone. And especially those who need it most. It’s not me.
If you’re local, it seems that most of the Whole Foods have completely restocked on water and coconut water. If you have a gas stove, buy things like beans, rice, potatoes, plantains, and long lasting gourds to boil later. And don’t forget to fill up on water now. We’re filling up water bottles with our filter now and later. And don’t let the madness get to you. I’ve heard more firetrucks this week than ever before. I know it’s a shit show outside but we don’t want to create more disaster than needed. And I have to be reminded of this time after time, but it’s important o stay away from water where theres power lines. A lot of deaths post hurricanes are due to this. It’s a simple thing to forget. Be cautious. Charge your phones and computers to use later. And stay safe friends.
edited to add:
it’s now almost two o’clock on Friday afternoon. Right now Irma is scheduled to hit us sometime Sunday night. My town is under a flash flood warning for the weekend and next week. Irma has gone down to a category four but seems like it might strengthen back to a 5. They’ve evacuated everyone on the coast. We’re just a few miles from that. I’m hoping that I can come back on here on a few days time and tell you guys that everything is okay. That the damage was minimal. There is a good chance that we’ll lose power for a while (days/weeks). In which case, I obviously won’t be on here. But we’ll see. No one really knows. I’ll be back when I can. And I say it all the time, but one more time doesn’t hurt– thank you for being here. This blog and you guys have given me so much more to life than you will know. Take care friends.