Monday, September 17, 2007

Katrina Insomnia

It was like this every night for a week, until I escaped.

The weather is so incredibly hot, that it is unthinkable to close a single window, day or night, thugs and looters or not. There is no escape from the heat, even with all the windows open. I lay in the sweltering heat, so hot that my skin throbbed in tune with my pounding heart. I do not know if my heart is pounding from the effects of heat exhaustion, or fear. The adrenalin rushes are taking my breath away. Fight or flight? Gunshots in the night. Do I lay in wait for the prowling thugs and looters? Fight back, or be killed? There is nowhere to hide, really. I do not sleep. I do not trust the strangers I am trapped with. They want my van's gasoline, my ticket out of this nightmare. I can't leave. Roads are heaped with storm debris. I am alone. I do not know if my family (scattered like ants) are alive or dead. Tuning in to my Sony Walkman radio, I discover that some of their homes are under water, or worse. Did they all escape in time? If so, did Katrina reach them anyway, by destroying everything they left behind? Where is my youngest brother? We've never had millions of people evacuating all at one time like this...

Moral of this story: In a severe crisis, be prepared for the possibility of having to stand guard against the world, and your nightmares, with eyes wide open.

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This article is an excerpt from Mrs. Tightwad's Handbook #1: HOW TO SURVIVE DISASTERS AND OTHER HARD TIMES. For more information, see the left sidebar on this site:

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