I had one of those dissociative moments this morning. In the morning fog that I'm becoming used to having these days, I had to regroup. Billy's still missing. Is it really November already? Thanksgiving is 3 weeks away and Christmas, 8 1/2. Halloween goes back in the box and it's time to straighten the house out for the holidays. The windchimes and lawn signs have to go back outside.
And Billy's still MIA.
Kick emailed me that she was going north this a.m. to get gas for the generator. If they could they'd stop by Billy's house. I shouldn't worry about any of them, they're all very capable people and if I got thru Irene they can get thru Sandy. I worry anyway.
There are so many stories coming out of this storm. Trees go roots-up and reveal skeletons. News reporters are helping people around the world locate their dislocated or incommunicado relatives. It'll be another week or more before people have water and power again. And the whole thing is on such a massive scale that I can't grasp it. New Jersey is a very populous place, entirely settled and paved for centuries. It's hard to picture what's happened, even after seeing the photos. Seaside decimated. The whole Jersey shore, all those towns, a big mess now. All those people living in homes that have been flooded, without power or water. And many made homeless. As soon as water recedes, the stench rises. How many homes will be condemned, torn down? How many will have lost everything they ever owned? One article described flying over Seaside, sand-filled roads, and here and there the bright colors of stuffed animals from the boardwalk game stalls, like sprinkles on butterscotch pudding.
Sandy has left about 160 people dead, in all, starting its devastation in the Caribbean. People are missing. A mother lost her grip on her 2 young sons as they were pulled into swelling waters on Staten Island, and she begged nearby houses for help but nobody would come out. A "mini tsunami" tore thru one house in Tottenville, on the southern tip of Staten Island, leaving a 13 year-old girl dead, her mother in critical condition and her father gone. Those claimed by the ocean may never be found.
I continue calling Jersey, but there's no getting thru. The home line has a recording saying my call can't be completed, try again later. Billy's cellphone, which I left a voicemail on Tuesday, just rings and rings now. On top of the power lines being down, cell towers fell too. Day by day my stomach sinks.
Finally just heard from a friend in NY state. She has no power but is otherwise fine. Maybe everyone will just pop up, one by one, like meercats. Meanwhile, we wait.
Remembering and Remembrance
14 hours ago