Hurricane Irma

Living in Florida for 20+ years, this was surprisingly the first hurricane I’ve experienced, so I really didn’t know what to expect or how to prepare. There have been several hurricanes in the past that were expected to hit us, but ended up further east of Tampa than predicted. In 2004, there were four that went around Tampa and we experienced nothing more than grey skies and mild wind at that time.

I stayed mostly calm amid the chaos, knowing the news reports are typically sensational and overly dramatic. However, knowing I would possibly be alone for this storm, I wasn’t quite sure how calm I could afford to be.

My work hardly allowed me much time to prepare, in fact, they were asking me to work late nights. Fortunately, I’m a bit hermity by nature, so I was semi-prepared to be isolated for days just in general.

The tension in the office was contagious, and it wasn’t until Friday afternoon, when the storm was officially forecast to hit Tampa head on, that we were released to go home. Naturally, I headed straight for Total Wine and stocked up on the booze. Priorities people!

I was able to convince Stephen to come to my apartment and stay with me so I wouldn’t be alone, but Sunday afternoon about 3pm he suddenly decided that he wanted to go back home. That kind of crushed me a little, I felt suddenly abandoned all over again; it was deeply upsetting, that he would rather be with his friends knowing he’d be leaving me by myself. Never have I felt more alone in that moment realizing I literally had no one to turn to during an emergency. I was paralyzed. It was a brutal reminder that I can’t depend on anyone. The fact that I felt hurt though made me realize I needed to back up and deaden my emotions. I believe we feel emotional pain for this reason; to remind ourselves to harden ourselves against the world and stop investing time on other people.

Fortunately, the predicted Cat 3 ended up slowing down to a Cat 1. We were spared something that could have potentially been catastrophic. The chaos now is the pain in the ass of the aftermath. Flooding, debris, power outages, street lights out and idiots on the road, and the rush for food. It’s madness.

By Wednesday, everything was pretty much back to normal. All this insanity over something that lasted a few hours. Granted, it could have been far worse, but the fact that it wasn’t just kind of makes the whole thing feel rather ridiculous though humbling. Humans, with their hubris and superiority bend to the will of this unfeeling, objective, and ruthless force that’s above caring. Though we still try to gain control by anthropomorphizing these things; giving it a name, praying at it, casting blame, telling it we aren’t scared, as if it gives a flying fuck. There’s a sort of perverted fascination to be reminded of how insignificant we are. I’m kind of disappointed it didn’t wipe us all away.

In other news: Looking forward to Inquisition on Sunday, Venom, Inc the following weekend, and my vacation up north the first week of October. Also, results from my re-pap came back negative for cell abnormality! So, can’t complain.

5 thoughts on “Hurricane Irma

  1. I’m honestly super upset someone left you alone during such a scary event. I am in Canada and just hearing about how things were down there freaked me out. But good for you for sticking it out. I would have considered having a slumber party that lasted the whole thing, I think. Anyone who leaves is not welcome back! Lol. Glad you’re safe. 🙂

    1. Hello; It’s always a welcoming surprise to hear from new friends! Sometimes I wonder just how much of what I send out into the Interweb actually is acknowledged.

      It was upsetting at the time and I’m fortunate the storm ended up being nothing more than it was. I just take it as a lesson to remember that we are all essentially alone and no one is expected to or should be required to take care of anyone else. Knowing I’m able to get past something like this by myself is empowering. I think we all need to be tested from time to time to remember that we, alone, are all there is. Though I’m not a fan of this “it’s good to be selfish” era, it is incredibly important to know you are capable of taking care of yourself first before you can care for others because if everyone else is watching their own back (as they should), who’s going to watch yours?

      1. Amazing way to look at it all. A little bit lonely in ways, but ive always been better off doing things on my own. 😉
        Good for you! <3

  2. Hello, random voice from the cosmos on this side of the screen. I’ve wanted to say hello ever since FB pointed me at your image in 2015. I followed the burst pf your photography for a while. I lived in Orlando and we had common acquaintances, hence the suggested friend on TH thing. I never reached out because some experiences (i.e. art) are better when we can find a context that resonates in our mind’s eye independently. Like the need to anthromorphize(name, label, eviscerate and control through perception) you described, I decided I wpuld rather try to see something in your art that made it worth knowing you. The mystery makes the story a wholly separate work but your words reached me. I guess that impetus to silently appreciate your work from afar changed, huh? Peopling. Whee. 🙂

    1. I’m thrilled to know that you’ve fared well through the storms. It’s what led me to look for you and leave a scrawl on your locker door. It feels very high schoolesque to leave a note like this.
    2. I’m very pleased to see you have your domain back. I’m the random person that purchased it to preserve and return it to you…but I never heard from you. I’m glad you have it again. You’ve got a wonderful eye for macro. Your pallete in your subjects are almost made for a mark III. I use the 5dS. Its…sublime. I’ve missed your textile and dead sea life photos.
    3. There are those of us afflicted mammals that see the same entropy at the heart of our entire culture, all consuming and shitting apathy in it’s wake. I feel the same way about gestures -be they grand or gentle -to invoke some kind of divine pass when life goes sideways. We live in a patriarchy that insists good behavior gives you a cosmic scratch off courtesy of JC his bad self.
    Uh. No.
    You’re not alone, you’re just very rare. It’s cause for celebration when your heart tends to prefer bitter/dark over sweet and light. It’s the essential lens to see that beauty in despair. You have a fluid eye and poetic tongue. I do hope to read more. My world is better knowing that you are eloquent moving through the night.

    My name is Benjamin Guinn. Facebook will do the rest. Find me if you like. I don’t even know your true name. I think we could have powerful conversation in the midst of the greying light.

    Be well and welcome back to the interwebs. You never know what will wash up on your shores.

    P.S. Great news on your test results. Super personal, uncomfortable to comment on, but totally something to be celebrated. Ave Satanas. 😉

    1. It’s nice to meet you, Benjamin! I’m glad you took the leap and decided to reach out, I truly appreciate the kind words.

      I haven’t been terribly active on Facebook (especially my photography page) in quite some time; in fact, I haven’t been signed into my account since early April – it’s practically deleted in my mind. I’ve always found Facebook to be overly saturated, impersonal, and somewhat intrusive; I’m finding I feel that way about most social network sites these days. I’ve always enjoyed this mode of journaling more than the fast paced, superficiality of scrolling and commenting; seen and forgotten.

      I look forward to sharing more in depth conversation. I feel like I’ve been out of the loop for a little while, keeping most ruminating to myself.

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