Friday, June 13, 2008

Worse Before Better

I've buzzed my hair.

Or rather, CT has buzzed my hair. It feels great, in all senses of the phrase. It is soft on my hand. The weather here is hot and very wet. My hair is cool and dry. It makes me feel stronger. Plus, hey, free haircut! All those shiny strands that catch the light just so? Those are all grays, btw. With many more TK.

So, we moved what we could out of my mom's house and my stepdad's house yesterday by pontoon. It was very terrible to see, but also beautiful. The river raged beside us, feet away. A storm blew up. The water rose so fast. We had to leave with what we could shove quickly into garbage bags. We boated out along the treetops.

I just got back from the grocery store, which was a madhouse. I bought tuna and saltines and water. The water was difficult to navigate. What is the difference between stocking and hoarding? I mean this in a practical sense. How much water should one person buy when it is difficult to know--when the power goes out, when the water treatment plant loses its last pump--how long we will be without clean water and electricity? Am I incorrect in buying now, before these things have happened (but which, the media tells us, are likely)? How much water does one person need for a day? For a week? A month? What if my family members--who are understandably a bit slow right now, a bit shell-shocked already--don't buy enough water or food for themselves?

Well, now that I am back at the office and in front of the friendly, helping internet, I see that the Red Cross recommends storing one gallon of water per person per day. But the question remains: how many days are we looking at here?

I bought what I thought was reasonable.

I'm full up on gas, have a store of cash, waders, a poncho. As more bridges, roads and interstates close every hour, Iowa City feels more and more like a remote island. I hesitate to use the word escape, but how else to say what it feels like here? It feels like very soon escape will not be an option. But that is okay. My family is here. We are all on high ground now. I wouldn't want to escape if I could. I'm very glad to be here right now and not watching TV, helpless, in a studio apartment in New Jersey.

CT and I are going out for a ridiculous, expensive, wonderful meal tonight at my favorite restaurant. I am going to get really drunk on red wine. I am going to sleep in tomorrow.


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