Thursday, July 5, 2012

Jessica's lack-of-power struggle, Saturday evening

NOTE: This harrowing tale was originally recorded using the ancient methods of a pencil and paper. It was transcribed Monday night in a format easily readable by others (because no one can read my handwriting) and set to autopost throughout the week.

Translation: Jessica was unable to watch “My Name is Earl” reruns on Netflix after a nasty windstorm knocked out power for several days, so she continued to blog on paper. She watches too many apocalyptic movies, so the second she has access to Netflix you will find her motionless on the couch rewatching “The Stand”, because that’s what she’s been comparing her experiences to all weekend (even though they didn’t have smart phones or iPods). Oh, and also the #Anniesmove episode of Community. 


Saturday's paper.
The Lancaster Meijer had flashlights left.
Saturday 9:30 p.m.: Normally I’d be feeling really bad for Lizzie right now, but she’s not here. I’m sitting outside and there are fireworks going off in every direction. They don’t bother me. I like the smell.

I’ve had a good meal, a chicken bowl at Chipotle, and I’m a little more prepared, so I’m feeling better. But there are still no lights, and might not be for quite some time…

Preparing to be dark for awhile.
Earlier I took a text message poll to see what areas still had power. Easton was in full swing, but that’s too crowded on a normal Saturday, let alone one where surrounding areas are dark. So I called the Chipotle in Lancaster, and heard the magic words from a warm body: “Yes, we’re open! No we’re not crowded! Yes, there’s a grocery store open across the street! No, traffic isn’t bad.” I jumped in my car and made the 45-minute drive south.

I was expecting a mob scene when I got to Meijer – all the disaster movies I’ve seen are popping into my head. I’m envisioning people fighting over flashlights, coolers and bags of ice. People looting and carrying on.

I’ve seen too many disaster movies.

The store was quiet. Bottled water, radios and flashlights were picked over but there were still plenty left. There was plenty of food. I picked up a few things, enough to tide me over for a day or two, then waited for the one person ahead of me in line to check out, then I head to Chipotle where I finally had data access on my phone.

Seven days, the Newark Advocate is reporting. It might be seven days until the power is restored. At first, I didn’t believe it, then all the “what-ifs” started running through my head. I went back to Meijer and only then I truly prepared for the apocalypse – tuna fish, black beans, chips, salsa, canned veggies, wine, rice cakes, bottled water and more. I filled up my gas tank, without having to wait in line, and drove back to Newark thinking “was it really necessary to drive all the way to Lancaster?”

Back home, I turn on the radio/light I bought (the smartest purchase I have ever made). The only station I can get clearly is country, but even though they’re only reporting small things – which gas stations have ice and which stores are open – it’s comforting to have some kind of connection to the outside world.

Time to keep packing by flashlight. The goal is to get the living and dining rooms packed up tonight. T-11 days until I move away from what has become third-world country Newark.

I still have running water.

It could be worse.

Saturday, 10-or-11-something: I knew I forgot something at Meijer.

A clock.

My phone is charging in the car again. I have no clue what time it is.

Part 4 will autopost at 8 a.m. tomorrow. 

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