It was Sunday night just before Halloween, and I was headed to the grocery store in an attempt to further put off my homework after neglecting it to dress up like a spaceman for the weekend.
I sat in the drivers seat of my car as my roommate filled my gas tank, checking my email to see if any of my teachers had cancelled class due to the approach of Hurricane Sandy. I saw an email from the president of Stonehill College, informing us they were closed on Monday. While flooding and heavy rain wasn’t expected, heavy winds were on the way, and there were predictions of downed trees and power outages. As a result, it was safer to have students and staff remain in their homes and residence halls. My roommate and I rejoiced, stopped at the liquor store and made plans to keep putting off our work.
The next day, the predictions were on point. I sat in my school’s dining hall as the wind howled and the lights flickered on a first date ( I’m still dating the girl two years later.) That night I finally completed the homework I had put off and played guitar in a room of friends at a monthly concert held on campus. I played the Hold Steady’s “Hurricane J”, a reference to they harsh weather and the girl, Jessica, who had joined me again, this time to watch me perform.
I tried once to call home during the day but got only a voicemail, which wasn’t unusual. That night, however, I began to realize that disaster had struck back home. I went to bed feeling a combination of fear and worry for my friends and family, and guilt over enjoying the day as almost a mini vacation.
The next day I heard from my family back home. My house was full of friends, cousins, aunts and uncles who had come to our inland home to escape the rising floodwaters. My power was out, and my dad was out hunting for generator. Thankfully, all in my family were safe.
I read Facebook statuses and saw photos of the fallout. I felt helpless, a college kid four hours from home, watching his friends and family suffer. In an attempt to show some type of solidarity, I threw on my old Yankee hat.