Hurricane Sandy's turning into quite the learning experience. By reviewing the contents of my backpack where I stuffed the most important things I can't do without, I realized my first priority's writing, my second's skin care.
I also learned an important lesson about people during traumatic times: shitheads remain shitheads. For a few moments, they come off as angels when they provide a modicum of assistance. Yet, there's payback which is huger than the little energy dispensed on you.
Like reflux disease, this little lesson always manages to repeat itself. It still astonishes me that I'm surprised by people. I'm not discussing the really good people - that would make my blog enormously boring - I'm talking about those motherfuckers I've the misfortune of having in my midst who take predominance over the few wonderful people I enjoy, trust and love.
During the storm, trees were uprooted out of the ground and flung by wind gusts blowing counter to normal flow. On my street, they toppled power lines flanking both sides of my property. As if that weren't enough, one bisected access to the road by having the temerity to fall on my utility shed where my electricity, hot water, well and propane are stored. I dodged fallen power lines, additional toppled trees and ran across properties to get my way up the road, a true Marine obstacle course. To avoid being totally trapped, I drove my car over power lines.
One neighbor, witness to my shenanigans, phoned 911 and NYSEG, esp. since my cell phone was dead. My situation constituted a true emergency and would make us #1 in priority to get electricity restored. He would never have paid attention to my plight except THIS TIME it would be sufficient payback for him. Don't you just love it?
Exasperated by the lack of outcome, he screamed, "I can't believe 911! I explained you've fallen power lines all over the place, a tree on your house trapping you from access to the road. And guess what they said?"
I smiled. I could only guess.
"As long as you're ambulatory, there's no emergency!" He took a breath. "NYSEG's no better."
It goes to show once again that a middle-aged white novelist doesn't matter any more. Thankfully, I'm lithe and very good at dodging dangling power lines. My heart, though, is having problems about it. When I recounted my situation to the NYSEG guys who I bumped into this very day, I got into a major argument. Although, to their credit, they took a look at my place afterwards.
"It's YOUR wires that are downed on YOUR property," they let me know, "and nothing we can do about the tree on your house."
"I know that. I was worried about the DOWNED WIRES ON THE STREET THAT PROHIBITED ANYONE FROM DRIVING TO MY HOUSE TO TAKE CARE OF THE TREE AND DOWNED WIRES ON MY PROPERTY," I shouted back.
"Oh. That was what you were worried about?" said the guy. "We took care of that. Now you've access to your home on one way."
I appreciate they went out of their way to check it out. The only thing I wanted was for them to move the power lines. Even so, it took a woman wearing a cardiac monitor to have an argument almost causing major cardiac arrest to get the point across.
Still, this is only the beginning. I can only imagine what's in store for me.
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