Stormy Blog Post

This won’t be my usual MONSTER MEDITATION.

Sandy hit New York City very hard and my part of Manhattan is still without power. This means no heat, no hot water, no phone, no cable, spotty cell tower coverage, no lights, no wifi and no subway in the neighborhood.

I commute each day to a friend’s apartment on the Upper East Side where I shower and set my laptop up with her wifi. It’s hard to get any real work done. I’m not complaining. Things could be a great deal worse.

When I walk downtown in the evening, I see the dramatic switch between the HAVE POWER and NO POWER zones. I’m grateful for my friend’s generosity and seriously happy to know that I can climb the four flights by flashlight into my dark, little apartment and that I’m not one of the people stranded in high rises, alone in the darkness. Just six weeks ago when I sprained my ankle the climb would have been almost impossible…. so glad I’m better now.

The darkness last night as I turned my corner was truly deep and all enveloping. It was the kind of darkness from a pre-electric period. The lobby of my building was lit with candles and neighbors announced themselves with the glow of flashlights.

This deep darkness is, I’m sure, where real monsters are born. But right now there are other monsters rumbling in the people I meet. Almost everyone is pitching in, helping neighbors, offering strangers seats on the bus, and the like, but there’s a monstrous hum underneath the surface. We all know that breaking points exist.

How long can we stand this “interrupted” life?

On the news people in beachfront communities cry and scream about their losses; families in the East Village dumpster dive for food in the trash outside a closed supermarket; and everyone is arguing about the famous NY Marathon. Can we really hold it under such conditions?

Little, and big, monsters are rising inside many people and the post-apocolyptic darkness is a stew pot for anger. So far the light and easy, help each other attitude prevails, but….

Please excuse any typos, missed words and misspellings. I’m writing and typing as I go and won’t have time for rethinking, rephrasing, rewriting or even proof reading. The daylight monster wants me to accomplish as much as possible before the darkness descends.


  1. I lived in Florida for almost 20 years and went through my share of hurricanes, power outages and saw people pitch in and help each other, even running power cords outside to neighbors without electricity. I am glad that our storms hit when the weather was warm. I can take heat. but to be without power in cold weather would be miserable. I hope that service is restored soon and that you will have more experiences to share about life with Sandy. My favorite was Charlie who ripped the roof off of a house we had just rehabbed and dropped it into the pool. Fortunately we did not have much damage inside and had a new roof in place before the insurance inspector ever got there. Be blessed. Mary

    • Candy

      Thanks for you kind words. I’ve had a few hurricanes in my life — a few on Long Island and one in Connecticut. They were regular hurricanes. This was a very strange and powerful storm. Very different!

      • Candy, I have had some interactions with you via LinkedIn and Goodreads about writing and New York etc ( I remember suggesting you set a ‘monster’ book in Manhatten at Christmas.) As soon as I heard the news of Sandy I wondered what impact it would have on you and how you were coping. My thoughts are with you. Here in Australia we are all to used to fire and flood and storm and the devastation it causes. Thank you for writing the blog. I hope thingsimprove soon.

      • Candy, I have had some interactions with you via LinkedIn and Goodreads about writing and New York etc ( I remember suggesting you set a ‘monster’ book in Manhatten at Christmas.) As soon as I heard the news of Sandy I wondered what impact it would have on you and how you were coping. My thoughts are with you. Here in Australia we are all to used to fire and flood and storm and the devastation it causes. Thank you for writing the blog. I hope things improve soon.

  2. Candy

    I hope things get fixed or semi-fixed before the breaking point hits. Everyone melts down at a different point. I am glad you have such a wonderful friend to allow you to hang out and get things done. Putting you in my prayers along with all the others on the East Coast. Thank you for your post.

    • Candy

      Yes, I remember our interactions. Glad to be in your thoughts.

      I’m uptown right now at my friend’s place and will even go to a movie (there’s power up here) before I head downtown into the darkness. It’s a strange time to be in NYC.

    • Candy

      I’m wondering about that… I hope all is well — or close to it — by the end of the weekend, as Monday the school kids must go back to school and Tuesday is the election.

  3. I’m glad you’re safe and have a few options but I really worry about you going home in the dark, with just a flashlight. In my experience, the good will and camaraderie following a disaster never lasts very long and those with predatorial ? inclinations always make the most of opportunities. Please be careful!

    • Candy

      The news is looking UP! I’m hearing about power returning to my neighborhood. I’m still uptown. I just went to a movie — very distracting! Now, dinner and maybe by the time I get home it’ll be a lights on!!!

  4. Metan

    Funny how it is those thing we don’t even notice are the things we miss the most! We don’t even think twice about flicking a light switch but once the power goes so many other parts of our lives are affected. Running water? Turning on a tap and getting clean safe water is something we all expect but so few in the world have it.

    I expect that this experience has planted the seed of many other kinds of monster stories in your mind now!

    Hopefully the power is back on at your place soon and you can start getting back to normal life 🙂 Good luck!

    • Candy

      A couple of years ago, I wrote a non-monster story about all the noises of contemporary life. A business woman wakes up to a completely silent morning and slowly she realizes that she is in another reality — one it which she is a cook in a 18th century house, drawing water from the well, lighting the fires to heat the oven, etc. I wrote it when I was traveling and listening to the sounds of Berlin echoing through the courtyard behind my hotel.

      New York in the darkness was silent and then filled with weird sounds, one and than the other, in a odd turns that may yet yield a story. But I have to be further from this vulnerable disaster feeling to write it.

      My power came back at 3:57am. I was awake to see it.

      The subways are not running to my part of town. The New York Marathon was, finally, canceled as it would draw off much needed resources. I’m OK and things are getting better. I’m just very worried about the people left homeless in the storm’s wake.

      • Metan

        I like the sound of that story, I bet it feels a little too close to home now though.

        I expect that seeing the lights come on again was a big relief. A darkened city would feel like a very alien place. I imagine it will take some time to be able to look back on the whole event in a positive way.

        I am glad to hear that life is beginning to return to normal in your neighbourhood. I was thinking about you whenever I heard the news reports and hoping you weren’t too badly affected.

        • Candy

          Because I work out of my home, I won’t be impacted by the transportation situation — getting closer to normal, but not there yet. The schools are open and most of the subway lines are funning (if at diminished capacity).

          I “found” my friends on Long Island who will be without power for weeks and feel grateful that the only casualty for me seems to be my refrigerator. The return to power may have been too much for it. Beth & Win (a shout out if you’re at that bar for wifi & hot food)… I hope things get way better, much quicker than the predictions!

  5. I hope things soon return to normal for you or should I say what passes for normal with you since I’m currently reading one of your books. Poor Andrea is beside herself with worry and it’s bad enough just having the one of her ! Please tell me the film you went to see wasn’t a horror. Take great care of yourself, stay away from bloodbanks and from those whose inner nastiness is now starting to appear in the aftermath of the storm.

    • Candy

      Normal, as always, is a relative term. I will say that things are looking up! The subways are starting to cover more of the city, so I will likely have public transport tomorrow. My lights, hot water, heat & wifi are on!!!! So that’s great. Will deal with laundry and all that stuff in the coming days.

      About the movie, my friend and I intentionally chose a movie with an ending we new was happy. Neither of us could handle a sad love story, a scary flick or even one that ended in an explosion. So we went to see Argo. It’s not the greatest movie ever made, but it was diverting for a couple of hours.

      The nastiness of this storm is, fortunately, not located in my immediate vicinity. But I did witness a serious meltdown on line at the market. I heard words come out of a woman of a certain age that would have made a gangsta rapper blush.