Session 03 - Hurricane Blues
Hurricane Ian hit southwest Florida on September 28th, 2022. I underestimated the storm, and you know what? Shame on me.
Don't worry about my safety. I'm fine - apparently, my house is on a decently elevated part of land. While parts of my city are under water, my place isn't flooded at all. We only lost power for about 24 hours, and at some point during October 2nd, 2022 - I'm guessing around 10:00PM - our internet was restored. We have a boil water warning that I fully expect to last a while and I don't know when we'll be getting mail again, but otherwise, my life is returning to normal very quickly. For that, I'm grateful.
In a way, I was almost excited for the storm. Hurricane Irma left us without internet for a month, and having limited mobile connection meant I lived more... in the moment, I guess. I spoke more with family, and I had an excuse to dig into some retro games. It was like a strange LARP of the early-mid 2000s, and it was... nice, when I wasn't hounding down Comcast's doors in hopes of getting internet back before Path of Fire launched. My hopes were, unfortunately, dashed and it wasn't until the next day - or was it the day after? - that the service would be restored. For some reason, I'd almost hoped to relive some of that experience once more, so when I heard the storm hitting us was an actual hurricane instead of a mere tropical depression, I felt this twisted sense of delight over the fact that I'd be able to ride this one out like I had the previous.
Nothing is the same. Our recovery has felt faster than that of Irma, thankfully. I'm now three weeks into a job that I've come to love, handling scheduling for people getting their fancy schmancy BMWs serviced. I at least hope I've grown as a person, since I've absolutely witnessed multiple "character arcs" going down. They're never fun, and the crazier shit gets, the more I begin to wonder if I'm real or just a character in somebody's story. Our dog passed away a few years ago, and we now have two dogs - Lefty and Henry. Such good boys. Finally, I had expectations. I had memories, and... I forgot things from before.
The hurricane recovery process wasn't the same as I'd expected.
Before the storm even ended, I lost my optimism, hope draining from my eyes as I texted the owner of our dealership and was told the place would be open the next day. Of course, it wasn't, but... I still went, with bad information, believing we'd be open on Thursday. I went on to try again on Friday, and Saturday... Closed. Closed. Facing the anger of people who came for their appointments on those days, taking down numbers in hopes of making them happy - I've got a busy day ahead of me tomorrow just rescheduling things we missed on days before. I wonder if the coffee machine there will be safe, because otherwise I'm genuinely unsure how I'll manage to push and pull myself through the day... Furthermore, I'm forced to face parts of the recovery process I'd forgotten about - the lack of tap water, the physical labor in the yard as we straighten out our fences and break down broken branches so that we may dispose of them. I hate yard work -- but... what I'm saying, I suppose, is that I only looked at the parts of recovery I liked. I tried to reframe it so that only the bright side of the street was visible, and my heart was broken when it was forced to face reality. Ain't that just... life?
Still, with us recovering from the storm and my brief vacation(???) from work and internet - maybe "abduction" or "forced separation" is a better term here, really! - I can say I'm satisfied. I made significant progress in TimeSplitters: Future Perfect. I still got to visit a friend -- last month, I actually made a friend in real life! One who's in FL year-round, and has days off that happen to line up with my own! For once, I feel like I've developed a functioning social life, and you wouldn't believe how happy that makes me! I can't pretend this is a purely bad experience for me when it absolutely isn't. I feel like my life has signficantly improved in the past month or two, and... Thank the stars, and thank my admittedly bizarre motivations for doing so which I'll be elaborating on in a future post either in December or next year when said motivation starts to make significant progress!
That all said, don't get pissed off at me for making this post. I know hurricanes are terrible things, and I know there's been people who've been injured or killed in this storm. Places have been flooded and destroyed, torn apart by an abusive mother nature who wouldn't earn custody in any sane court of law. Simply put, this isn't about them. This is just my thoughts on my own situation. If anything I've said here offends you, I'll gladly take complaints - just write it on a piece of paper and shove it up your miserable fucking ass.