Well, I got one natural disaster out of my home (a deadbeat/psychotic roommate)… and right after she leaves, I have to hear about this monster of a storm, Hurricane Irma. Category 5. 180mph sustained winds. Absolutely fucking gigantic. About 550 miles in diameter. The eye alone, about 50 miles wide.
My parents live in Cape Coral, FL (Gulf Coast– two hours south of Tampa). Most people know its sister city, Fort Myers, which is also in danger. My parents live there, and my sister and her kids, too. And several friends. And also Stacy, my ex-girlfriend and good friend who is currently in Naples.
Some moments, I feel that things will be ok, re: this storm. Other moments, I feel really scared about it. It’s impossible to predict nature and what it does. My parents have boarded up their windows and lowered the storm shutters but I don’t know. And Stacy’s staying with her parents, who have “impact windows” which are supposedly built to withstand Category 5 winds. They’e also about a mile or so from the Gulf of Mexico. Not exactly far.
My parents live in Cape Coral, which is a few miles east of the Gulf Of Mexico.
I went through Hurricane Charley in 2004. We “rode it out.” Our house lost a few shingles but in general, was ok. Other houses in town weren’t. Some lost their roofs. My mom worked at Pizza Hut at the time, and the roof of it collapsed. A lot of damage all over the area, but not as bad as Punta Gorda, about 12 miles north of Cape Coral. Punta Gorda was leveled. The eye of the hurricane passed right through that, and was north of us by just 12 miles.
Sitting in my house, on my floor, riding out Hurricane Charley was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. I was in love at the time, and my girlfriend was across the river in south Fort Myers… we thought we’d never be able to see each other again, when we briefly talked on the phone, before the phones and electricity cut out. We were both terrified. Terrified.
I sat there on my floor, reading Zen Guitar aloud… occasionally crying. I can’t remember if I was listening to my CD player/headphones at the time… I don’t think I was. I think I was just reading Zen Guitar aloud, to myself… alone in my room. My parents, sister, sister’s husband, and her two kids (who were toddlers at the time) were all in the kitchen. It hit about 1:30 or 2pm. I can’t remember. But holy fuck it was scary… especially as the center got closer to us. Unreal. Things slammed against the window shutters… loud booms… rattling, hail… everything. It was brutal.
I can only hope that my parents are spared this insanity… and Stacy, too. I don’t know what is going to happen. But they’re all staying put. It’s probably too risky to evacuate at this time, even if there’s a mandatory evacuation. They’d get stuck on the road.
I don’t know, man. One problem goes away, another presents itself.
Stacy was supposed to come up and visit me three weeks ago. But she decided to take some jobs that had her traveling, and she agreed to house-sit for her parents’ neighbor in Naples. Perfect timing, right? She should be here. Not there.
And my parents… I dunno. I wish they would have evacuated like 4 days ago.
I don’t know what is to happen. But I certainly hope and pray for the best. 2016 and 2017 have been the worst fucking years of my life, so far. The absolute worst.
I hope everyone is safe. Everyone. This storm is…. ridiculous.