The Outbreak

Thursday, August 04, 2005

When this post goes live, another month will be added to the archive list over on the right. Looking at it just now I'm struck by how the time just goes on and on, stretching out like a gray ribbon ahead of us, no end in sight. Not to be maudlin or anything. Well, fuck it, yeah, to be maudlin or anything. It sucks. It's fucking terrible is what it is. These little shopping expeditions, watching Law & Order on DVD, blah blah blah. We've all of us still lost people we'll never get back, and society's lost something it may never get back too.

I don't know. I take it back--I'm sorry to be maudlin. As i write this I'm listening to "Mary" by Scissor Sisters. Maybe that's got something to do with it.

This heat is beastly. Yesterday our refrigerator looked like it was dying. The compressor kept trying to click on but failing, like every 30 seconds or so. Amy and I got a little panicky because we'd finally accrued a decent stock of perishable food, and with the temperature the way it is we could well have lost it all if the fridge crapped out. And who knows how easy or hard it might be to replace it? We'd end up having to share with the Leopolds, and there are too damn many people in this house for that to work out well. By the time Kurt (still our landlord, y'know?) came home and came up to look at it, though, it had apparently fixed itself. We cleaned out the back of the fridge, half-filling the vaccuum with dirt and dust and crap. Maybe the buildup was the problem, though Kurt said it wasn't as bad as it'd need to be to have a real effect on the fridge.

The last time our refrigerator crapped out on us was the big summer East Coast blackout in, what, 2003? I think that's when it was. I was at work at the time, and the computers stopped working. This was not at all an unusual occurrence for that office, so we didn't think much of it until we realized playing with the fuses wasn't bringing anything back on. By then the guys in the office next door came by saying their stuff was off too. And by then you could look out on the street and figure out that this was going on at least up and down the whole block. And by then you heard it was the whole city. Then the whole East Coast. Then you were filing out of the building down the darkened stairs, hoping it wasn't terrorism again. But it wasn't--it just ended up being a big blackout, and basically a citywide block party. It actually would have been fun if it wasn't so goddamn hot, and if Amy didn't have to go to the residential treatment facility the next morning. I ended up walking from the West Village to someplace in Brooklyn to hang out at my coworker's house until it blew over. My plan was to take the train from Flatbush Avenue to Jamaica to Bellmore, because the estimates said they'd get the power back on by like 1 or 2 am or so, and Amy and I had to leave for the facility by 8am that morning if she was to be admitted this week. But Amy wisely insisted on driving out to Brooklyn--with no lights, no stoplights, nothing--and picking me up; wisely because of course they didn't get the power on again for hours and hours and hours. I waited for her on a corner, watching people walk by. She'd gotten directions from me from the guy whose house I was at, but they had the exit she needed to take closed, so she ended up driving around Brooklyn looking for me, asking people where such-and-such intersection was. We ended up getting four hours of sleep that night, in 85 degree heat, and the next morning I drove her down to Philly and she checked in. Anyway, we lost most of the stuff in the fridge, and there was a thin layer of melted chocolate ice cream on the bottom of our freezer for months until Amy finally got fed up with it and cleaned it up.

Looking back, more than anything I miss the way everyone came together.


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