The Harvey Diaries (Pt 1, 8/29/17): Thoughts on Preparation & Isolation from a Not-As-Affected Houston-area Resident

DISCLAIMER: From 8/29/2017. I’d intended to post these thoughts the day of, but Harvey cut off my internet access for two days, and as such, this was the result. I had difficulty sleeping and the storm just wouldn’t stop, so I figured I’d better write it as fast as I could while these reflections and emotions were swirling around. This post is partially edited for privacy reasons.


I suppose if I was smarter and less susceptible to my own bullshit, I’d have been going through my short stories and writing more on these impromptu days off instead of playing “Clue” and watching Akira for the umpteenth time on the desktop.

Guess it was the destruction scenes that kept me coming back for more. Oh well.

After a night of this crap (and the nights before), I can kinda understand Jack Torrance from The Shining. I’m locked up in my office with my unsorted mess, my canvas, needles, and yarn to finish some coasters I started making a year ago, some books to read, and coffee.

There’s no cable TV, so dad’s watching his movies in a barely lit room. I need more light so I don’t strain my eyes, and thus in the office instead. I probably shouldn’t bother being on the computer, but I just need something to do. I can’t get on the internet and I know eventually people are going to be texting me like crazy, asking what the hell happened to me.

If their texts come through at all.

I’m in the most profound state of ignorance since the 1997 Ice Storm, long before we had internet but we at least had a good weather radio going. Now, nothing I’ve got will get the AM stations, which I’d be more apt to believe for weather news. I wanna see the Doppler, because this wind and rain (mostly rain) just won’t stop coming.

I can understand isolation. I get it better than ever right now.

Sure, dad’s out there in the living room, but he’s been rather unprepared for this storm. I don’t know what’s up there, but I really feel like he wouldn’t have minded dying in it.

Scary–that would mean there are two potentially suicidal/depressed people living in the same house. Fan-freaking-tastic.

It’s either that or he’s mad and resigned that he can’t do the heavy lifting and take care of things the way he used to during previous storms, like make sure we had enough gas, set out the generator, secure things, etc. Well, I got everything ready (especially that heavy generator over the soft muddy driveway), but it was still half a day or better before he went out there and hooked it up (and taught me how).

Granted, he saw the power company was out there working on the line yesterday morning, but otherwise–when it was going on and off last night, he almost ignored it and just sat there.

It’s a little scary that I’m the one having all these ideas. Dunno why he’s not the one getting onto me about taking precautions. Is he super weak and getting worse, or just doesn’t care if he lives anymore? I can’t tell and don’t wanna ask, because the more I’m stuck here and can’t do what I want to do, the more I can’t go to work or now even GO ONLINE AND LOOK FOR A JOB, the angrier and more depressed I get.

I need to work and find things out, see what’s happening with my workplace if possible, find out if I even have a workplace anymore because of this storm.

And now, with no internet, I can’t even go online and make sure I can pay my bills or anything like that. I’m angry, and I’m feeling that restless twinge of desperate. I wanted coffee, but then I didn’t want coffee…but I’m drinking it anyway.

I’m hungry, but don’t want to eat.

I’m tired but can’t sleep.

I’m in that zombie state where I’m just taking up space.

I thought I was just “taking up space” before. Now I have a much better feeling what that’s actually like. Holy crap, I’m positively itching to leave, to go somewhere and do something, but where would I go?

I’m more certain than ever that if I got a job that gave me a vacation week, I’d be getting the hell out of town and not look back. I can’t stand staying here any longer than I have to.

I’d settle for a coffee shop with internet and homo sapiens, so I can maybe get a gist of what’s going on and be able to help neighbors who might want to try and get home by making calls and checking the traffic.

The only good thing today might give me is the chance to really feel, just read books, do needlepoint, and let the thoughts flow. They might be shitty-ass thoughts and despairing thoughts, but they’ll be mine, dammit.

And then I’ll have something to write about. This weather-imposed isolation is a lousy damned thing. Dad’s a bump on a log out there watching DVDs. It used to never really bother me, because he’s not a “crowds” person and I’m not either, but we have nothing to do, nothing to talk about. TV is too passive, and I’m itching to communicate and learn.

I can’t mindlessly do nothing for days on end…maybe a few hours at most, then I’m antsy and doing a little of everything I can (which leads to nothing because it never gets finished, but still).

We’ll be off the job through Thursday and I’m pissed. My already low paycheck’s going to be fucking dead next month, just when it should be getting a bit better. I’m in despair and angry as hell—what can I do?

Yeah, the pressure’s getting to me–on all sides. Hopefully the internet will be up tomorrow and I can see how things are going. There’s no one to check with and I can barely get texts. It’s exhausting trying not to scream and count my blessings instead…wish I could. We’re not drowning here.

Not physically, anyway.

Part 2 can be found here.

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