I’ve been purposefully physically, mentally, and emotionally avoiding the shit out of this very post since last week when it was first announced that HurriCUNT Irma would be a potential threat to South Florida. But I knew from the get, that this time things might take a turn for the worst, as evident in this Facebook post from last week, before we knew what we know today.
I’m typically pretty chill when it comes to this sort of natural disaster mumbo jumbo. I’m a pure-bred South Floridian and I know the drill. I also know the screw driver, the flat-head, and the hammer… so that makes me a fucking expert of some sort. To our misfortune, hurricanes tend to “cry wolf” here in Miami. I have lived 32 years of the same old song and dance every hurricane season, and it tends to become a pattern: “I’m coming! Get ready! I’m almost there! I’m gonna fuck you up Florida! Are you done yet? Have you lost your shit and gone bankrupt purchasing bullets, plywood, overpriced water, and enough canned food to survive an apocalypse? No? Ok I’ll slow down my pace, shift a little more left or right and keep your hopes up for a minute. And when you least expect it, I’ll get a little stronger and shift right back in your direction, and scare the shit out of you all over again. And then- BAM! JUST KIDDING!!! I’m turning around now! Good luck with all that duct-tape on your windows though! Also, that’s a myth assholes. Whoever told you duct tape would save you from my wrath is a dumbass! HAHAHAHA catch you next year motherfuckers! Or not!”
I mean in 32 years living here in South Florida, and I can only recall 1 actual, catastrophic category 5 hurricane having impacted us directly-Andrew. Andrew graced us with his presence in 1992. I was 7 years old when he came and took a massive, runny, shit on us (way too graphic, sorry guys). Andrew was devastating. He put the definition of “hurricane” into perspective for us here in Florida and I’m confident we have never been the same since 1992.
My extended family lost everything to him. They were homeless and left with nothing but the clothes on their backs. I remember driving towards the area that was once their neighborhood and being unable to recognize anything. Because there was nothing left of anything to fucking recognize. I was so young and clueless, but to this day I can picture the somber expressions plastered onto their faces and the tears silently trickling down their cheeks, landing lightly onto the remnants of their lives that were wrapped in dust and trapped beneath concrete rubble and shattered memories.
I vividly recall scavenging the ruins of their once-beautifully standing homes, desperately trying to hunt down and salvage family photos, wedding albums, and just anything that meant anything to them and would possibly bring them some form of comfort. As a child, I understood, but I didn’t REALLY understand. My only responsibility was to behave myself and apparently, to get the chickenpox- which I failed miserably to do. My cousins all ended up with the chickenpox mid hurricane, and my mother figured “meh, might as well have you get them too” and did everything possible to keep me close to them and rubbed me on them but my immune system is a fucking beast and was like “not TODAY lady. NOT TODAY”.
Aside from behaving, and chickenpox, I clearly didn’t have to worry about a home owner’s insurance policy, flooding, materials and vehicle damages, food and water, medicine supplies. The adults had to manage to do all of the adulting. I just knew that everyone was heartbroken, and that we didn’t have school to attend to, or electricity at home for a while.
25 years later, the gravity of what the adults in my life must have been internally dealing with during such trying and tragic times, is overwhelmingly feeling too-close-for-comfort. The fear. The unmanageable level of anxiety that accompanies the unknown. The unpredictability. The back and forth and the stress of “we can’t find water ANYWHERE! We can’t find plywood! We can’t find batteries! There’s no more gas!” The lack of control. The conversations and the questions that I am more than sure they did not want to ever want to have. I understand now that we have to sit and have those kinds of talks with our loved ones, including our children. They need to know. They need to understand, and they need to also be prepared. This is NOT the time to have ignored the knot in my stomach. Not as a mother. Not as a homeowner. Not as a woman with so many fucking dreams to fulfill together with my family. NOPE. Nope. & NOPE.
As far as Miami goes well, the weather may not be very predictable but the type of people here ARE. They are desperate, disrespectful, selfish, and careless of others. This is survival of the fittest. This is a competition. This is the blinding rage that comes with the natural, animalistic instincts to protect what it yours, regardless of the consequences. I get it. I just wish we could all help each other and bring each other up, as opposed to brawling over wood and water. As opposed to pushing and shoving one another in the canned food sections. As opposed to skipping the person who’s been waiting in line for an hour at the gas station. Like- PEOPLE. We are all on the same boat here. We can’t sink each other. We have to stay afloat! Together! What in the ACTUAL FUCK!?
There’s no water left ANYWHERE guys. I’ve gone as far as searching for water online. And if it’s not RIDICULOUSLY priced, it’s out of stock altogether.
Plywood is out of stock everywhere in the city, practically in the state. Joey managed to find wooden fence slabs, after 48 hours of continuously searching and waiting. Home Depot has a TEN HOUR WAIT for wood and fist fights are sprouting there left and right. At this point, I am not only fearful of the darkness in the skies to come, but of the darkness inside of the people that may come.
And I don’t pray. But now would be a good time to have a one-on-one with the Universe. Anything can still happen at this point, including nothing. Or including everything.