Unless you live in a hole and/or are dead, you know by now that New York City is about to get hit with a hurricane, the likes of which has never been seen.
Normally, when the media reports on storms, they inflate the threat. Dangerous weather systems make for great TV. But this storm looks like the real deal. Already, on the Jersey Shore, water levels are as high as they were during Hurricane Irene, and we’re still 36 hours away from the center of the event.
I woke up to a mid-morning that looked like early dawn, or the bottom of the world. The sky was gray, and the light was dark.
Now, the wind is picking up, and the areas surrounding us are being evacuated. If this storm isn’t a big fucking deal, I am going to be very disappointed.
If the apocalypse does in fact arrive, know that I will not last more than three days without modern comforts. This could be one of my last blog posts.
Yesterday morning, AJ and I went to visit the ocean, to ask it what it had in store for the citizens of New York.
It told us—torn fragments of jelly fish.
Two dead sting rays.
Dressed up like adorable ghosts for Halloween.
A Russian woman in a turquoise bikini.
Who ran from the dunes through a forest of black poles, a decimated skyline, right into the freezing ocean.
Her husband, or pimp, or personal photographer, or perhaps all three, his skin spilling from the edges of his bathing suit.
A flash of breast, a bleached head above water.
A yellow towel waiting for its Instagram debut.
A dead shark.
Laid on a burial ground of shells and styrofoam.
A friendly group smoking a joint behind a wind barrier of sweatshirts.
A painting by Caspar David Friedrich writ in neon.
At the end of the way, the Breezy Point Timeshare, boarded up for the winter.
An abandoned utopia.
“See here,” a man walking his dog said to us, pointing to the cove where we stood. “If you stay here during high tide, the water will rise up over your head, and you’ll be trapped.”
“On just an ordinary day?” I asked.
“Yes,” he told me, and then gestured that he was heading beyond the boarded storage units, to a strip of sand exposed by the low tide, out closer to the ocean.
On a hurricane day, one can imagine that the water will rise into the structures, filling the pool, ripping down the storm boards, dragging wood and concrete into the water, to land on another beach, somewhere further.
Already, it is a tiny apocalypse.
A place easily lost.