When she with cats, papers, a change of clothes And her old college bag to hold them all Was one refugee among others in a dump truck A Houston Airport Authority dump truck
Dieseling through rain and water and fear With muck and mud sloshing across their feet A woman next to her then laughed and said, “Now we’re the people they take pictures of”
But there was no Capa to frame the scenes Only oh-my-Godders with MePhone screens
As the old saying goes, this isn't half the story. A young person of my acquaintance was caught in the flooding in Houston two years ago because she trusted her local government and the dam (and ****') authority when they told the people not to evacuate because they would only clog the roads.
The weight of reality sits in my chest. This is all beyond what my mind can comprehend. How can it be gone if it's still here?
It wasn't perfect. It left scars as I shed tears No one ever saw either anyway.
Who am I? What have I become? Is this all worth this path I walk on?
My pen is a knife, Bloodletting across pages since I could hold it in my hands, Since I know what it meant when shapes became words And sentences became bought. Now they won't stop And I don't know how to let go Again.
Every day is a new dance with grief, Torn between remembering And trying to piece together reality.
The pen pierces my heart. It gushes new words onto paper with every beat Words my mind and mouth are at a loss for Words ears will never hear.
Even if they did, they're impossible to comprehend. I write them anyway. Just in case there's someone else out there Crying alone in the shell of everything they've ever known Trying to convince themselves it's worth it to inhale.
Its 8:30 in the AM The Corn Moon is being routed by a Manassas cloud bank
NPR be barking Irma this, Irma that my tremblin Rav4 stuck in the rush is idling behind a pair of gray hairs spewing leaded premium out the back of a big old black Buick sportin Florida tags
inching north up I95 I’m relieved to be a thousand miles ahead of the monstrous ***** denuding Barbuda deflowering the ****** Islands and threatening to topple the last vestiges of Castro’s Dynasty by disrupting upscale bourgeois markets for cafe Cubanos, cool Cohibas and bold Bolivars
she’s a CAT 5 counterclockwise spinning catastrophe churning through the Florida straits bending steel framed Golden Arches shaking the tiki shacks gobbling lives defiling tropical dreams
the best meteorological minds on the Weather Channel plug the Euro model to plot a choreography of Irma’s cyclonic sashay
they predict she’ll strut her stuff up a runway that perfectly dissects the Sunshine State ransacking the topography venting carnage like battalions of badly behaved frat boys, schools of guys gone wild sophomores, wreaking havoc during a Daytona Beach spring break droolin over ******* popping woodies at wet tee shirt contests urinating on doorstoops puking into Igloo Coolers and breaking their necks from ill advised second floor leaps into the shallow end of Motel 6 pools
but I’m rolling north into the secure arms of a benign Mid Atlantic Summer like other refugees, my trunk is filled with baggage of fear and worry wondering if there’re be anything left to return to once Irma has spent herself with one last furious **** against the Chattanooga Bluffs of Lookout Mountain
Morning Edition Is yodeling a common seasonal refrain the gubmint is just about outta cash congress needs to increase the debt limit
My oh my, has the worm turned during the Obama years the GOP put us through a Teabag inspired nightmare gubmint shutdowns and sequestration shaved 15 points off every war profiteers vig it gave a well earned long overdue take the rest of the week off unpaid vacation to non essential gubmint workers while a cadre of wheelchair bound Greatest Generation military vets get locked out of the WWII Memorial on the National Mall
this time around its different we have an Orange Hair in the office and there's some hyper sensitivity to raise the debt ceiling given that Harvey has yet to fully drain from the Houston bayous
the colossal cleanup from that thrice in a Millennial lifetime storm has garnered bipartisan support to clean up the wreckage left behind by a badly behaved one star BnB lodger who took a week long leak into the delicate bayous of Southeast Texas
yet we are infused with optimism that our Caucasian president and his GOP grovelers now mustered to the Oval Office will slow tango with the flummoxed no answer Dems to get the job done
pigs do fly in DC Ryan and McConnell double date with Pelosi and Schumer get to heavy pettin from front row seats beholding droll Celebrity Apprentice reruns
The Donald, Nancy and Chuck slip the room for a little menage au trois side action transforming Mitch and Paul into vacillating voyeurs who start jerking their dongs while POTUS, and his new found friends get busy workin the art of a deal
rush hour peaks static traffic grows in concert with a swelling frenetic angst driving drivers to madness terrified they won't get paid if the debt ceiling don't rise they honk horns rev engines thumb iPhones and sing out primal screams
unmindful drivers piloting Little Hondas bump cheap Beamers start a game of bumper cars dartin in and out of temporary gaps uncovered by the spastic fits and starts of temporary decongested ebbs and flows
A $12 EZ Pass gambit is offered the fast lane on ramp has few takers just another pick your pocket gubmint scheme two express lanes lie vacant while three lanes of non premium roadway boast bumper to bumper inertness wasted fuel declining productivity skyrockets the wisdom of the invisible hand doesn't seem to be working
DOJ bureaucrats In Camrys and Focuses dial the office to let somebody know they’ll be tardy
gubmint contractors in silver Mercedes begin jubilantly honking horns NPR has just announced that Pelosi and Schumer joined the Orange team the rise in the debt ceiling will nullify their 15% sequestration pay cut
NPR reports the National Cathedral will deconsecrate two hallowed stained glass windows of rebel generals R E Lee and Stonewall Jackson it's a terrible shame that the Episcopal Church will turn its back on the rich Dixie WASPS who commissioned these installations to commemorate the church's complicity in sanctifying the institution of slavery, WWJD?
as I ponder this Anglican conundrum another object arrests my streaming consciousness upsetting an attention span shorter and less deep than the patch of oil disappearing under the front of the RAV as I thunder by at 5 MPH
to the left I eye a funny looking building standing at attention next to a Bob Evans
I’m convinced Its gotta be CIA a 15 story gubmint minaret a listening post wired to intercept mobile digital confabulations from crawling traffic inching along beneath its feet
this thinking node pulsing with intelligence reeking with counterintelligence the tautological contradiction guarantees the stasis of our confused national consciousness
strategically positioned to tune into the intractable Zeitgeist culling meta code planting data points In Big Data data farms running algos to discern bits of intelligence endeavoring to reveal future shock trends knows nothing reveals less
the buildings cover is its acute conspicuousness gray steel frame silver tinted glass multiple wireless antennas black rimmed windows boldly proclaim any data entering this cheerless edifice must abandon all hope of ever being framed in a non duplicitous non self serving sentence
the gray obelisk a national security citidel refracts the fear and loathing the sprawling global anxiety our civilization's discontent playing out in the captive soft parade ambling along the freeway jam imobilized at its stoop
Moning Edition jingle follows urgent report of FEMA scamblin assets arbitraging Harvey and Irma triaging two tropical storm tragedies and a third girl just named Maria pushed off the Canaries and is on its way to a Puerto Rico homecoming
while gubmint bureaucrats anxiously push on to their soulless offices the rush hour jam has peaked my WAZE is having a nervous breakdown
next lane over a guy in a gold PT Cruiser is banging on his steering wheel don’t think this unessential worker will win September's civil servant of the month award
Ex Military K Street defectors slamming big civie Hummers getting six mpg lobby for a larger apportionment of mercenary dollars for Blackwater's global war on terror
Prius Hybrids silently roll on politely driven by EPA Hangers On hoping to save a bit of the planet from an Agency Director intent on the agency's deconstruction the third 500 year hurricane of the season is of no consequence
obsolete GMC Jimmy’s are manned by Steve Mnunchin wannabes the frugal treasury dept ledger keepers pour good money after bad to keep the national debt and there clanking jalopies working
driving Malibus DOL stalwarts stickin with the Union give biz to GMC
nice lookin chicks young coed interns with big daddy doners fix their faces and come to work whenever they want
my *** is killing me I squirm in my seat to relieve my aching sacroiliac and begin to wonder if my name will appear on some computer printout today? can’t afford an IRS audit maybe my house will be claimed by some eminent domaine landgrab? Perhaps NSA may come calling, why did I sign that Save The Whales Facebook Petition?
The EZ Pass lane is movin real easy mocking the gridlock that goes all the way to Baltimore a bifurcated Amerika is an exhaust spewing standing condemnation to small “R” republicanism
glint from windshields is blinding my **** is hurtin and gettin back to Jersey gunna take a while GPS recalcs arrival time
an intrepid Lyft driver feints and dodges into the traffic gaps drivin the shoulder urging his way to the Ronnie Reagan International I'm sure gettin heat from a backseat fare that shoulda pinged an hour earlier
Irma creeps toward the Florida Keys faster then the glacial jam befuddling congress
I think I just spotted Teabag Patriot Grover Norquist manning a rampart bestriding a highway overpass he’s got a clipboard in hand checking the boxes counting cars taking names who’s late? who’s unessential?
The air is cool for a summer day. Kittens play with fallen leaves As the breeze does the same with my hair. Everything around me familiar Burned into my memory.
Small changes have happened over the years But some things remain forever the same. The big ant hill at the end of the road It predates us. Will probably out live us all.
The atmosphere feels different As though autumn decided to debute Before pumpkin spice is released in stores For once. I'm not complaining.
I take no pictures. Instead I open my eyes wide In effort to take in ever detail in front of me As the moment that came is leaving Even as I live and breathe.
Making shapes of clouds that tease the rain. And to think, I really liked that day.
This was playing in my head before we had decided to evacuate from hurricane Harvey. Everything seemed normal. You wouldn't know destruction was inevitable if you didn't know the risk churning in the gulf. I didn't even know that when I came home, nothing would be the same. And I didn't look back as we did leave.
We in South Florida pride ourselves on getting hit by hurricanes. We take photos of how bad it is and post it on Instagram with appropriate doomsday event hashtagging.
Riding these things out is like riding a bike.
If you can shop for Black Friday and Christmas every year, you can shop for this. Take pride in your water divination skills and line-standing endurance feats. We are the state of Disneyworld ride lines that wrap around corners in swamp heat, and lines of red light bumper lights on i-95 Monday through Friday: this is another day in the office!
Putting up shutters is like putting up Christmas decorations: we get creative
Like today, we wedged pink and blue floatation noodles against the frames of the windows in arcs resembling a post-storm rainbow. My 2 year old daughter said it was beautiful.
One day of this is someone else's seven months of winter. Remember, people evacuate to here annually! So do not feel bad for fleeing north to them.
The news keeps saying stay calm as they embellish how dangerous this storm ride is going to be like some death stunt on a David Blaine TV special. He went underwater in "Drowned Alive": he didn't drown. He got buried underground: he rose from it. Per the broadcasted hype, the payoff is we won't die!
Here's some good news: you can leave what's out of reach and in the sky to the heavens, and what's in your mind to the steps you took on the ground below: all doors closed, stuff unplugged, things that resemble missiles stashed in closets, flashlights ready like lightsabers to battle this named foe from above. It will hit the worried and unworried just the same, revealing the gas station line cutters from the people who help you with shutters; the faith from the fear of those who choose to pray; the human heart and its varying sizes as it beats faster with the darkening of the sky.
At least we aren't trees: they cannot hide from this revealing event. See how they all remain serene up until the second the wind arrives, leaves rattled only then, roots of varying depths being that which holds them together