It began as an innocuous cluster of thunderstorms in the Western Gulf of Mexico less than 100 miles SSE of the island city of Galveston, Texas.
But in a matter of hours, it went from a low pressure area to a tropical depression to the meteorological juggernaut that came a-calling along the Upper Texas Coast late Wednesday evening.
The cities of Galveston and Houston, only 30 miles inland, braced themselves as the rest of Texas, the nation and the world held it’s breath. Was Humberto’s poorly formed eye clearly focused on the upper Texas Coast?
An emphatic “yes” said every Houston weather man and woman and we MUST be vigilant!
Gulf coast residents “hunkered down” as we know how to do during “The Mean Season”, hurricane season from June 1st to November 1st. Our “go kits” are at the ready: enough water, batteries, candles, matches, money, food, extra clothing, medications and we made sure that important documents, such as the phone numbers of our attorney, CPA, Lei Lei the manicurist, our masseuse, our psychiatrist, our Feng Shui consultant, the yoga instructor, Nganjo-our Peruvian Shaman , our aroma therapy master and Paco our coke dealer were safe and sound.
The TV stations prepared us, too. Radio stations kept constant vigil. Reporters flocked to the Sea Wall in Galveston. They were in caps and slickers with their station’s logos on them. They braved the elements, such as pesky kids who kept trying to get in their live shots.
God, they’re so valiant!!
We slept fitfully, as I’m sure everyone did. We woke up early–it was still dark out– but what were we waking up to? What was waiting for us in morning’s dewy light?
Would we recognize anything? Would lawless minions in the three percent tax bracket force their way into Gump’s to loot and pillage? Taking every bottle of Cristal (1994) and sacking up every Baccarat wine flute, picture frame and biscuit barrel they can carry because they’re desperate to keep their now struggling family living in the manner to which they’d become accustomed??
And worst of all, would I, after surveying the situation, feel compelled and pretentious enough to quote Shakespeare?
“Oh brave new world that hath such people in it?”
I worried about my welfare of course, I mean…I am, after all, me.
But my thoughts were also with those poor, over-paid TV reporters. How did they survive the onslaught from the beastly barometric marauder??? I hoped they were safe sleeping in the Galvez–the island’s luxurious 5 star hotel. Throughout the night, I prayed to several gods I don’t believe in that they’d have enough Aqua Net to get them through the night and ready for the morning’s first live shot.
Damn Humberto!! Damn, damn, DAMN this storm!!!!!
News reports indicated that Galveston had been spared, but High Island–much farther up the coast had taken a direct and Humberto’s 85 mph winds caused sporadic damage.
But what had happened in Houston overnight?
I got dressed and mentally prepared myself as one does when tropical weather makes landfall. You hope for the best and expect the worst.
At first light, I went outside to my deck to look around. I was ill prepared for the devastation I saw and as I 360’d the neighborhood, I realized I’d been hit the hardest.
My heart sank….
I estimate damage in the tens.
Damn President Bush and FEMA!!! No one was there to help me upright my chair and who’d pay for the resealing of my cedar deck? And what about my hot tub?
There was water in it!!!
I was livid.
But that’s not the worst of it. My neighbors are are nice family named Levy. I felt sure at one point during the stormy night, I heard an explosion. I was worried that the Levy’s had been bombed and breached!
Turns out they— like so many in my extremely well manicured neighborhood— had nowhere else to go to escape the storm’s wrath. So, they boarded several stretch limos and were driven to the spa at Crestview Springs Country Club, a place designated as a “shelter of last resort”.
I heard on the news that it was crowded and conditions were rapidly deteriorating. I mean, can you imagine????? Some people were being forced to sit at tables near the kitchen and I also heard the spa was out of Evian and Brie. And a few hours ago, I received a text message from a refugee….evacuee, who conveyed that it was also running perilously low on Key limes. Apparently, some people were being forced to drink tap water sans a refreshing citrus zest!!
Oh, the inhumanity!
My God, I can’t take anymore!!! How are we, a well healed, civilized people, supposed to act? We’ve been left with no choice but to revolt and resort to violent, erratic behavior because these conditions are so deplorable. We’ll do that by ONLY paying the minimum amount due on our credit cards; we’ll intentionally use the wrong fork during dinner and we’ll wear brown shoes and white socks with our dark Armani suits.
This is so hard and so very, very difficult to endure. We’re trying to live…..trying to survive in conditions that are abhorrently primal and sub par. We’re helpless. WE ARE OWED!!! Where are our leaders? We need the teat!!!!!!! WHERE IS THE GUV’MENT TEAT???