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The Evacuation Zone

August 25, 2011

It’s a rare morning when the child is out, at the zoo with our next door neighbor, but the parents are home. We both work on our projects, drinking in the quiet like, like, like a gin and tonic at the end of a hot summer’s day.

Like a juicy succulent wine.

Like coffee.

I work in the backyard for a while, then suddenly it rains big fat drops on my feet and on my laptop, and I run inside before I can even get my sandals on. Once in, I check my email. I see that a preschool meeting slated for this weekend may be rescheduled, because some families may evacuate because of the hurricane.

Huh? I’ve heard vague talk of the hurricane on the news, but I’m so busy with work this week that it hasn’t even registered.

I think about how crazy it is to leave New York because of a storm, and then how crazy it would be if, um, a lot of people got that idea. I mean, getting out on a summer Saturday is nearly impossible.

I decide to check the weather.

And, whoa. Hurricane Irene is posing an “extreme unprecedented threat,” etc. etc. I check the cities that are listed as needing to possibly evacuate. New York City. Again, whoa.

I peek into the kitchen and say to my husband, “My computer is taking forever to load the maps, but I checked the weather and we might consider leaving this weekend. I think we’re in the evacuation zone.”

When I say this, I’m not crying. I’m quite calm. I’m even cheerful; despite the weather, I’m having a cozy morning where I’m getting things done. Still, I’m married to a journalist and without “facts,”—and by the way, I do not count as primary source material—he interprets my mild suggestion as mass hysteria.

Ever the reporter, he decides to check into it himself.

Ten seconds later, looking at his own computer screen, he’s the one who says it.

“Whoa.”

“See?” I say. “I just told you. Didn’t I just tell you?”

“Yes, but you saying it and Bloomberg saying it: there is a difference.”

He goes back to his computer, and follows it up. “But you know honey, if you look at the map, we’re just BARELY in the evacuation zone.”

“Just barely in the evacuation zone.”

This exchange says a lot about marriage and how Person A can be interpreted as hysterical by Person B, who is in turn recognized by Person A as probably being a danger to themselves and to society at large.

(And you know it’s the same for you guys.)

I checked, though, and infuriatingly, he is right. Where our car is parked, one block up? That’s in the evacuation zone. But our specific building is not in the zone. It ends a block north, and starts again three blocks south.

Grr.

So over and out, I am off to stock up on Spaghettios, which are the only canned food I remember as being palatable to children, or anyone, when at room temperature.

We may still leave, though: we have to move the car, anyway.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 25, 2011 3:28 pm

    We’re out of the evacuation zone, but we’re on the 12th floor. They recommend you not stay on floors above 10 during a hurricane, so we’re having the same thought… we’re only 2 floors above the evacuation recommendation, could we get away with staying? But I think if there’s going to be a true hurricane, we’ll be high tailing it to a family member’s brownstone in Park Slope. I’m concerned about parking our new (to us) car over there with all those trees!!

  2. October 8, 2011 9:04 am

    I want to send you an award for most helpful ietnrent writer.

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