Sunday, August 31, 2008

5 Things about The Impending Hurricane

  1. The anticipation of it is almost worse than the aftermath (provided you don't suffer catastrophic effects of course. I don't mean to sound calloused to those that have suffered intangible losses in the past) I'm just saying we are expecting trees down and power outages and not much more in Baton Rouge, and it is a lot of little trips to the store that are increasingly crowded and bare and about to close and you have to fight the urge to buy things like a case of Spagettios. No one likes Spagettios, especially after the power comes back on in a few days. Spagettios are stacked in your pantry as a monument to folly until you clean the cabinet out or there is a show that is half-price with canned goods. Like I told a friend who answered his phone in line at Whole Foods buying water and corn chips as I was planning my own trip to Wal-Mart after work, there is no better solution to any problem than throwing money at it.
  2. I started to wish that gorgeous giant Ansel Adams grade oak tree in the front yard had been cut down to a brutal stump by the electric company. The incomprehensible magnitude of a hurricane, existing as a giant bloody smear the size of the Gulf on Doppler weather radar before it arrives, screws with your sense of scale.
  3. A hurricane fucks with the Nietzschean resolve that usually gets me through the day. That which does not kill me only makes me stronger doesn't really hold water because this is one of the rare times that "That which" actually sorta can.
  4. Also, a hurricane makes one unnecessarily eschatological. Like there is a temptation to read The Road or Revelations in a lawn chair in the backyard until the wind blows the book out of my hands. I can't imagine what a grand bummer a hurricane must be to real doomsayers - black clouds are best framed by a sunny sky. Survivalists and guys that dress in armor and have lots of swords, however, are likely and rightly very Game Day about this shit.
  5. The overriding unpredictability of the situation makes everybody a pesky expert and competitor in the preparation Olympics. I think tanking up cars and buying cases of Spagettios is to some degree, the hurricane equivalent of making the men go boil some water while the baby is being born - it keeps them occupied and out of the way of people who really do have something important to do right now. I was joking the other day with my wife, making up things I would do to prepare: "I'm gonna hard boil all the eggs!" only to find that my mom did that very thing before coming up here, and I just ate one, so who knows what all that says. I do know I'm hearing helicopters a lot today, which was the sound of Katrina in Baton Rouge, a subject succinctly and poetically explored by my boy Dave, and that is when things start to feel really real to me.


  1. The year after Katrina, I was tailgating on the parade ground with friends of mine and by seridipity the police motorcade, for the LSU football team, was driving by and some helicopters flew over LSU at the same time. It instantanciously transported me back to the week after Katrina where I can remember the constant sound of both transporting people (or bodies) from NOLA on up here. It's a sound that triggers memories I'd rather keep in the reclusive parts of my memory, not the forefront.

    And I have no emotional attachement to anything or anyone in NOLA. :-/

  2. hmmm.. I hear you say it, about New Orleans, but I don't really believe it. Sometimes New Orleans can be hard to love, but I think everybody, on some level, even if in just an abstract sense, loves that place.

    Or maybe because I love that place so much that it strikes me when someone says they don't.

    Also, I get the feeling we know each other IRL and your not revealing...

  3. Hahaha. At the time of reading this it's worth noting the following:

    1 - My hurricane survival menu is comprised solely of Chef Boyardee fare. During Katrina my favorite meal was one can of ravioli and one can of spaghetti. This year I'm branching out to include cheeseburger macaroni. And yeah, there's an obligatory can of Spaghetti-O's in there also. I actually do like them.

    2 - I just started boiling the water for the six eggs I've got left in the fridge.

    And yes, the anticipation is oddly satisfying and fun. It brings to mind Binx's musings to Kate about her wreck in the Moviegoer:

    “Have you noticed that only in time of illness or disaster or death are people real? I remember at the time of the wreck — people were so kind and helpful and solid. Everyone pretended that our lives until that moment had been every bit as real as the moment itself and that the future must be real too, when the truth was that our reality had been purchased only by Lyell’s death. In another hour or so we had all faded out again and gone our dim ways.”

    Stay safe.

  4. I've been out of town at a week and AT BEST have a can of red beans and rice. Argh.

    Be safe, Red Sticks.