Monday, October 29, 2012

Blue stripes in a hurricane

Sometimes when there's a hurricane, I have a strange urge to run outside and let the wind take me wherever it wants. Maybe I'd end up with broken bones in a nice hospital somewhere, being tended to by nurses soothing me with morphine. Or maybe I'd end up in San Francisco, where I've been wishing I was for weeks now. If I had broken bones, there would be much less pressure to run around in this very tiring city. I could just sit about in my grey-and-blue-striped shirt.

I'm never prepared in emergencies. My bathtub doesn't fill up because the stopper is broken. I just found that out today. My neighbors buy up all the bread and peanut butter before I can get to the supermarket. The hand-cranked radio my sister gave me after the 2003 blackout doesn't actually work. But I have boxes and boxes of protein bars, enough protein bars to ride out the week, at least. And then after that, I can always eat the Colonel. 

I just turned 40, and I resolved to change my life again and be that person who wakes up at 6 a.m. and goes to the gym, and is friendly to everyone and not stand-offish. That person who edits his unpublishable novel every day after work, until all that's left is one amazing page of super-tight prose that could change the world. I was all super-psyched, but then the hurricane touched down and turned over some deck chairs, and there went my momentum. 

On evenings like this, I find myself wondering what happened to that fellow who "gave me the eye" over the summer. I saw him pretty regularly for a few weeks, but then once I resolved to ask him for his number, I never saw him again. It reminded me that people used to give me the eye once, when I was immortal and shy, in the age of Methuselah. I wonder where he is now? Knowing my history, he's probably dead. Or out there in the hurricane, about to be. May Sandy evade you, my prince. It probably wouldn't have worked out between us anyway. 

Apparently, there is just one more day of hurricane to survive. I eye the window that leads out into the maelstrom, more than a little tempted to open it. I am comforted to think that if they give you morphine in the hospital, you don't have to feel guilty about enjoying it.