Hurricane Sandy experience

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I’m inland, in Massachusetts, so my family and I lost power for several hours. All throughout Monday, our electricity came and went. We stayed indoors, not going outside, despite the fact we had a death on Sunday. But my great-uncle’s funeral preparations would have to wait until today. The rain and wind battered our windows but left us otherwise unscathed. We lit up lanterns, candles and flashlights. I furiously wrote fiction with a headlamp I’d bought a year and a half earlier for a music festival out in Greenfield. I scrawled in my notebooks with pen – like you do, with no electricity – and my dearest friends were either in the same town as I was, or further west, away from the coast. I didn’t know what would happen to anyone down in New York and New Jersey. I didn’t want to know. I didn’t listen to the radio or watch the TV or look online, on my phone. I didn’t want to know what was happening until the aftermath. I often do this with disasters, mostly out of cowardice, and also because it feels so morbid, and kind of futile.

So because my friends don’t live in New York, and I didn’t see the pictures until now, it’s kind of other-worldly that so much of it flooded, and so much was damaged, and that people died.

It’s too easy to joke about the storm, here, where it mercifully left us unscathed, except for property damage, and electricity loss. I don’t know if anyone who needed it was harmed by the loss. I hope anyone who needed life support was someplace with a back-up generator. It’s not winter yet, so the lack of heat wasn’t a problem. The lack of refrigeration was, for people who lost power. We only lost it, like I said, for several hours, while I furiously scribbled fanfiction, as if I weren’t an adult, who had to deal with such shit as natural disasters. But we all figured it was best to stay inside and wait it out.

So that’s what we did.

The U.S. death toll rose to at least 33 by late Tuesday, spanning the Eastern Seaboard from North Carolina to Connecticut, plus one in Canada. That’s on top of the 67 fatalities inflicted in the Caribbean last week.

“I never thought I’d see what I saw today,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told reporters after spending the day reviewing the damage to his state.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/30/us/tropical-weather-sandy/index.html

I have, as of late…

…been spiraling into a lazy fucking mire.

I wish I was wealthy and could travel the globe and not feel too guilty that I’m lying around doing nothing.

I do work for the TV station, but that’s rubbish.

I recently had an embarrassing conversation with a networking contact that sounded about as much like one of my sessions with my smug bitch of a therapist than anything else.

Well, no. I think I say that because I told her about the phone call, and mentioned the woman’s full name, and then went…

“You know, it really pisses me off that you know The Actor.”

And you know what that smug bitch said?

“I think we should up your meds.”

I wanted to crack her in the jaw.

“Your life is not an episode of Skins. Things will never look quite as good as they do in a faded, sun-drenched Polaroid…”

I’m leaving some things out, of course, but I think I’m not the only one who confuses real life with fiction. It’s the most constant criticism I receive, and even when it wasn’t directed at me, individually…

…well…

I had this professor – who for some insane reason, agreed to be a reference for graduate school, provided I write the letter of recommendation myself – and he taught a class called Self-Reflexive Avant Garde Film, or perhaps it was Narrative Avant Garde Film. Both were usually taught by him, who was a professor in the Comparative Literature program/major/whatever that is, because UMass Amherst does not have a film program.

He said that life isn’t like a movie, or any narrative, and that we should stop making that mistake right now. You’re born, you live, you die, but that’s the sum total of anything that happens in life that follows any kind of order or narrative.

It reminded me of my ex-boyfriend, JP, who angrily told me one night in front of his friend’s house – North Shore kids, all of us, in a clique of boys from one town and girls from a different city – “Life isn’t a movie, Eris, it’s…”

Fuck, I used to know. The only quote from him I distinctly remember is

“You have deep rooted emotional problems and need to seek counseling.”

I can’t even remember him saying it; I can only see his face with my own voice coming out, from all the times I’ve repeated this quote over the years. Over the last decade. It wasn’t even until The Stoner that I believed anyone I was losing my mind. I can see myself that day, too, embracing him desperately in Mary Lyon Hall my spring semester of freshman year.

“You need help, Eris.”

Life isn’t like a TV show and it isn’t like a movie. Ah!

“Life has real people, Eris, with real emotions!”

Ah, that’s what my professor said. He said…that life doesn’t have a beginning, middle or end. Not any sort of structure. It meanders. People keep telling me that.

Another man told me that just because I’m bipolar…

What’d he say?

“It’s an explanation but it isn’t an excuse. It’s a problem that needs a solution.”

Or something.

I can’t believe…

/sigh

I can’t believe it’s been a decade, or that I hold tightly onto any of this, or that I wrote on Livejournal for…a decade, or that I’m even saying this here. But then again, I never claimed to…know what’s right.

Hmm.

Your life is not an episode of “Skins”…

“Your life is not an episode of Skins. Things will never look quite as good as they do in a faded, sun-drenched Polaroid; your days are not an editorial from Lula. Your life is not a Sofia Coppola movie, or a Chuck Palahniuk novel, or a Charles Bukowski poem. Grace Coddington isn’t your creative director. Bon Iver and Joy Division don’t play softly in the background at appropriate moments. Your hysterical teenage diary isn’t a work of art. Your room probably isn’t Selby material. Your life isn’t a Tumblr screencap. Every word that comes out of your mouth will not be beautiful and poignant, infinitely quotable. Your pain will not be pretty. Crying till you vomit is always shit. You cannot romanticize hurt. Or sadness. Or loneliness. You will have homework, and hangovers and bad hair days. The train being late won’t lead to any fateful encounters, it will make you late. Sometimes your work will suck. Sometimes you will suck. Far too often, everything will suck – and not in a Wes Anderson kind of way. And there is no divine consolation – only the knowledge that we will hopefully experience the full spectrum – and that sometimes, just sometimes, life will feel like a Coppola film.”

Bike’s Birthday Party, Confessions, and Sex

Encountered my ex-boyfriend the other night…

…one of the guys I didn’t come up with any weird pseudonym for.

Anyway, uh, it was weird.

We were all out in Boston for The Bicyclist’s 28th birthday celebration. Bike is my best friend here, and we had a kind of serious milestone of me admitting I love him back (in the familial sense; I hope he heard it that way), but I was also serving the function of designated driver.

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