Monday, May 12, 2008
The DelugeWe've had a whole lot of rain this past week in DC. I guess it's preferable to some of the other severe weather events that have happened around the world, it certainly doesn't compare to the cyclone that hit Mayanmar, or the tornadoes that killed ten people in Missouri and Oklahoma over the weekend, but I gotta tell ya, it's nearly 2 am here on the east coast, and I bet you can't guess what I'm doing. Okay, it's kind of obvious that I am posting right now, but in between paragraphs, I go down to the basement where the Wet-Vac awaits, and remove the water from my basement stairwell. If I don't go down every half hour to remove the water, it will eventually come up the stairs to greet me. My shoes are soaked, my jeans are drenched up to my knees, and both of my utility sinks are clogged in the basement, so I am dumping the rain water from the Wet-VAC into the bathroom sink in the basement, which I'm sure will clog at any moment. But that's not the worst of it. We are having really high winds, and the power keeps flickering on and off every few moments.
Which means, that soon I will have no wet-vac.
I have a bucket, and a flashlight, but in the past 4 hours, I have filled the 8 gallon Wet-Vac...maybe 12 times. So if the rain is coming down the stairwell at a rate of 24 gallons an hour, I am going to be up all night, and maybe most of tomorrow morning. I wish I had a remote control, that would beam me back to yesterday, when I was dry and warm, and asleep at 1 am, dreaming about Queen Latifah. In my dream, the Queen was telling me how happy she was to see me, and I can tell you, that I was extremely happy to be having that dream. I'm not going to tell you what she was wearing, I'll leave that to your own imagination, but I will say, that she was looking very...robust.
As the rain pours down, and I try to stay afloat, I wonder about other Americans, less prepared than I. In these times when everything seems to be pouring down on us, huge mortgages, dwindling savings, uncertain jobs, gas at 126 a barrel, and rice at 2.00 per pound, what do those people do? What do people do who have no jobs, who have no health care, who are losing their homes? I have a bucket, I have a flashlight, and I have the energy to stay awake as long as it takes to keep the floods at bay, as long as at some point, the rain stops.
But what if it doesn't?
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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