{ Monday, February 24, 2003 }

Ice Storm '03 Part II: Monday and Tuesday


We wake up at Writer Guy's, remarkably not freezing. Kristie and I wrap ourselves up in the blankets and go into the bathroom (which is actually doubling as the fridge at this point... the windowsill full of food) and smoke some cigarettes. We come back and sit in piles of blanket on the bed. We pass the morning, each playing Solitare. Except that I feel compelled to spend some time trying to teach Writer Guy the finer points of Solitare, which I imagine was rather annoying. Three hours later, we decide to go home and see if our house is still standing. Writer Guy is going to make another migration to Wal*Mart for writing supplies. We still think he's crazy.

The roads are just as horrible as the night before. Some of the stoplights downtown are working. Mostly, they're not. We have to drive way out of our way because of closed streets and sometimes we're still dealing with half a lane for both sets of traffic because of downed trees.

Home is still standing. The biggest tree fell away from our house somehow. We can't go in the front door, but the house is still standing. We avoid the downed lines out front and make our way inside. The cat greets us from inside at the door. When Emma came back the night before (she and her boyfriend and some people went to a hotel), she let him in. I'm so relieved.

When we get home, we make up some biscuits, [vegetarian] gravy, fried potatoes and stewed apples. While it's cooking, I run myself a hot bath. Ellie comes over and we eat a great lunch. I put a tin of food in the oven to keep it warm to take back to Writer Guy.

Once I've had a bath, I feel a lot less like a refugee. Kristie is going to Ellie's house where we are told it is less cold. I call and confirm that I can come back. I make no mention of Kristie and he makes no mention of me driving in this insanity. I clear my car back off, and head over to Writer Guy's place with my offering of a tin of hot food.

I have to sweet talk my way into the building, but I make it in and up to his apartment. The food is happily received. We pass the afternoon not doing much of anything, listening to AM radio and talking about playing cards. I eat a lot of the cold noodle dish (tomato soup, tomato juice and pepper over macaroni pasta). We go to bed remarkably early, even for him.

At twelve thirty at night, I awaken suddenly. The lights are on. Power. Woo-hoo. I put a pillow over my head and go back to sleep. Except that there's this siren thing going off. We speculate about whether the building is actually on fire and how I must never ever cook there because that's the noise that happens when the smoke detector goes off. He opens the door to see about doing something about the noise. It gets loud enough that I am now unable to sleep. He shuts the door. I go to sleep.


We wake up in a place with power and heat and everything! At like ten am, I take a load of blankets over to my house. I have a working phone! I call Jeff and my mom and ask the word to be passed on that I am, in fact, alive.

It's so fucking cold in this house.

I can't find my cigarettes. So, I go to the gas station and buy another pack. The skeevy clerk once more compliments my driver's license picture and offers to take me to his house for a shower while his wife is at work. I am amazingly polite in my decline. I accept that I must wash my hair.

I begin to pack up my shower stuff. My shower gel bottle actually shatters in my hand. The gel itself is frozen so I just drop it in the bathtub and figure that'll be worried about later. I pack up everything I need to take a shower and make myself feel like a real girl again (make-up and clean clothes). If I had known I would be wearing those clothes for three days I would've been choosier.

Then I begin to pack up the cat. I call Writer Guy to confirm that the cat can stay at his place. He calls back and confirms. The cat hops right in his carrier and off we go. I spend some time being immensely grateful for my CD player.

He meets me at the door to his building. We cart up more stuff, the cat and my shower stuff. I get the cat set up and announce that I am now going to shower for the rest of my life. I proceed to take a nice, lovely, hot, long shower. I get out of the shower and put gel in my clean hair and lotion on my neglected skin. I put on my clean clothes. I forgot my blowdryer. Oh well. I put on make-up. I feel truly human again.

I devote the next hour to sitting very still while my hair dries. Then I go out to my car and smoke a cigarette and get an Ani Difranco CD for us to listen to, because he has power again. I learn that Ani makes his ears bleed. We stop the music.

He tells me that he is planning to go to his mom's house later. I try very hard to be okay with that, but instead I cry. I am not mentally prepared to deal with this refugee thing on my own. He is very nice about this and chooses to stay. I keep telling him that I know it is unreasonable for me to ask him to stay. I tell him I am not asking him to stay, I'm just sad that he's leaving. He chooses to stay rather than make me sad. This is when I begin to become insanely grateful for his hospitality.

We devote the rest of the afternoon and evening to starting to pack him up for the big move and also, playing with the cat. The cat seems to like the place okay, under the bed is his new most favorite location ever.

The cat, boy and I go to bed and I actually sleep through the night.

posted by mary ann 10:50 AM