Irene

I spent the whole day of the 27Th with a friend, Nico. As much as I knew I should have stayed home, especially because of all the news stating how everyone should evacuate the city and beaches. stay in their homes, be prepared. Buy a lot of water, batteries for flashlights, canned foods, candles and matches. I headed out early. No one was going to be home, so why suffer alone.
The news was on repeat Hurricane Irene was all I heard, stay away from windows, prepare for black-outs. It was all over the media, Facebook and Twitter included.

I personally thought everyone was being so dramatic. New York City alone is dramatic. Last week we had a small earthquake that lasted about 20 seconds tops. That was all anybody could speak about. Channel 12 news was all over Fordham Rd speaking to hoodrats, asking what their point of view was of the whole scenario.
Anyway, back to these past two days. I met up with Nick and it was straight to get supplies. Supermarket it was. I got Nick making fun of my me because I was wearing open toe shoes. Something I didn’t even stop to think about while getting dressed. The slight rain never stopped me before.

We stepped inside of the supermarket and you would have thought that the world was ending by how packed and loud it was. Most of the shelves were basically empty for the essentials like water and batteries. Nick and I quickly grabbed the things we needed, since I was going to be cooking breakfast and dinner. I get on the line, oh man. The lines would wrap around the aisles. I see little old Hispanic ladies arguing with each other, ” She cut in front of me” and ” Don’t take her next!”. All I could do was laugh.

I tell Nick to go stack up on junk food while I stand on this killer line. He comes back with a story for me: Some other dude and him were eyeballing a loaf of bread. The last one at that. It was like a war of the fittest. Nick ended up laughing, telling the guy to take it… It really wasn’t that serious.
We ended up walking in to a small grocery in the corner that was on the verge of being emptied out. A 24 pack of Heinekens it was. While he held the box, I held all the bags from the supermarket. Nick insisted that I put some of the bags on top of the beer box. I kept telling him no , the box is heavy enough as it is. The Alpha male comes out of him and he tells me ” Please tell me you must be kidding.”
Fine. I suggest we race to nearest mailbox. Him holding the box of beer, me holding all the bags. I lost. Hahaha – But at the same time I won, especially since his basketball shorts kept falling down with no free hands for him to pick them up. I couldn’t help but laugh while I was getting drenched by the rain.
I started breakfast, keeping it simple, made mangu, with sunny side up eggs, friend salchichon and queso frito. He ran back downstairs since he could have sworn there was sazon and adobo in the house. Breakfast was great and we soon got the itis.

We started to watch a movie ad I could hear the rain hitting the AC even harder. Two movies later I started to make dinner. Porkchops, yellow rice and tostones.
Today I was definitely eating well. I felt like I was in D.R. for a slight moment. We had the radio blasting bachata, while I brung out the pack of cards and played ” tres y dos”. he won every round but one.
Another movie and two bowls of cookie dough ice cream later, it was time for me to go. I called a cab since the MTA had been shut down and there was no way of me getting home. I stepped outside and the rain was a killer. I bet my toes weren’t too happy with me then.
My father was home but already asleep. And me the nocturnal piece of work that I am, couldn’t fall asleep. I decided to work out for a little bit and knocked out after how I tired I got… Who works out at 3 in the morning!?
At exactly 6:03 am I hear a loud boom, the lights had gone out. My father was already awake, the windows had already been taped up. I has left an umbrella open, drying in the living room. I heard him stubble across it. I got up and ended up scaring him.

I had the hardest time getting back to sleep since then. Especially since I’m used to going to sleep with either the TV or radio playing in the background, let alone the AC. I couldn’t help but twist and turn at night. Hearing the branches hit my window and the wind making “whoooo” noises.
I finally woke up, yes at night, the power was still off and all I hear is my father laughing in the living room. My neighbors still had their power on, because of a generator. So we ended up running a long extension cord from their house, to our backyard, into our house. So our TV was on, everything else off, One candle and one flashlight lead our way. My father cracking up on some Dominican channel.
After a short while of boredom, I headed out side, running barefoot into the street. No rain, still windy, completely dark. Only about three houses still had lights on. Living on a dead end street, I see pitch black. It felt like a day back in the 90’s before computers took over our lives. It felt like a mini block party.The air felt great, refreshing. I run back in to my house and grab shoes and cardigan. Walk around the corner and see so many people outside. Friends from the neighborhood that I haven’t seen in years. We all catch up asking how the other has been.

On the next block up I see a paddy wagon blocking the road. A huge tree was blocking the streets. Apparently when it fell, it dragged the power lines with it. That paddy has been there since 8 am.
I grab my flashlight and head to Zero and Kat’s house. Kat and I catch up on each other’s lives while I start playing Operation and Candyland with ZJ. A short while later, i decided it’s time to go.
I look up in the sky and for once in my life, I see a sky full of stars. Beautiful as ever. Maybe having the lights off all day wasn’t so bad after all. I came back home, sat on the couch with my father, watching his spanish television and we killed the night, in the dark taking shots of Brugal. Happy Hurricane Irene. I hope all of you guys are safe and have an awesome story to show for it. Y2K ain’t got nothing on us. By the way, my lights came back on at 1:55 am.