Tuesday, December 4, 2012


It is hard to watch people suffer when you are NOT suffering. Because of an arbitrary choice. My Paupa always said to buy a house on a hill. I can't afford a house, but I have always lived on the second floor. One tiny decision...a signature on a lease...and we escaped the water that our neighbors couldn't.

It is hard to sleep at night, snuggled up with cat and family, knowing that downstairs there are people realizing that they will never get back what they lost. And it isn't even just the "stuff". The worst thing to lose is the feeling that everything will be OK.

There have been, and will be, far greater tragedies than what happened here. But we try to ignore the possibility.  And we succeed for the most part. Hell, I've lived half my life knowing that a huge earthquake is coming...scant miles from a fault line. And it is...coming.

But the immediate problems...and well, a wise woman said it was bad timing. And that seems like a strange way to think, but she was right. This is a time of year when people should be happy, warm, looking forward to lights and parties and a new year.

It is what it is. Everybody gets their turn. We ducked it this time. I am left only with an impotent frustration. The 'what ifs'. What if I'd checked the storm drain before the storm came? What if the city had kept it clear? What if we lived on higher ground?

It is a strange thing, this lingering frustration. Tragedy and redemption. The story of humanity.

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