American Standstill

Posted by @ 3:53 pm on October 29th, 2012


We’ve been moved to total standstill. New York City is on its knees. There is a potential for days more of this. If the power goes out, things could be really slow, really quiet.

I am with friends. We watch hours of Law and Order SVU. We listen to Apple TV radio stations called “Smooth Cruise” and “Breeze FM”

We sit in chatrooms. The clouds move above us.

Yesterday, I took a car service from an expensive grocery store. It was too far, with the big plastic bags. In preparation for the storm, we bought $96 dollars of food and drink. The cheaper grocery store, on Knickerbocker in Bushwick, had a 30 minute line.

My work is totally closed. In Midtown, the servers have been shut down and weatherized. A few of my co-workers took their computers home on Friday. I left mine. One of the account people tried to schedule a status meeting for Tuesday afternoon. Seems very um, optimistic.

I walked a few blocks to my apartment to get a change of clothes, a book, and this Mac Air.

In the streets, not much water. Not many people. Shops and stores seemed to be open and closed at random.

I want to work on my novel, but I think the writing would turn out strange. The tone would be outside of my normal range, spaced-out, unstable and distant. I want to listen to the band Voyager One and read Joan Didion’s Miami.

I’ve read this.

And watched this.

I would be excited if the power went out. I can imagine darkness and candles and the technical world pulling away, as if in a car. The door slams, rain on windows, tires, tail lights, Twitter disappearing. Alone at a gas station on Long Island.

So I read more news. The water will probably come up into the streets, with shit in it, near the Morgan L. There are probably guys smoking pot and playing guitar by the station, even now. The recession continues. We shrink and the holidays rise like condos. Manic lights in Manhattan, months after the storm. The oceans become acid.

Things are coming together for landfall. A friend brought over some cans of food, explaining that “they would keep.” She was holding a box of Camel Crushes, a few weeks old. “They need to be smoked.” Someone says that “we should smoke them on the roof, in the eye of the storm. We could all just crush at the same time, crush together.”

When the trains don’t run, millions of dollars are lost. I don’t understand. The calm is imminent.