I just hit the proverbial camel’s straw and it came in the form of a blue Honda Civic.
All I wanted to do was go to the gym. It was the only thing that was going to make me feel normal and an hour or so of elliptical would help me work off this pent up frustration.
I drove east on Hempstead Turnpike, like always. Got in the left lane to turn - across four lanes of traffic - into the shopping center where my gym is.
The farthest lane was not moving. Not at all. It was not moving because it was a gas line. There’s a gas station about 1/4 mile up from the gym and this car - and the 100 cars behind it - were waiting in that line. And they weren’t budging. They were lined up literally bumper to bumper because everyone is afraid some other car will try to sneak in front of them. So I’m waiting to turn into the gym but the entrance to the parking lot is blocked by the civic and she’s not going anywhere. The car behind her is not going anywhere. I can not get in. I wait a few minutes, hoping the car in front of the Civic moves up and lo and behold it does. The lady in the Civic has her window open so I roll my window down, get her attention (Hey, lady!) and try to get her to NOT move up when the car in front of her does. I make my point. She understands what I want. And she smiles. And instead of holding back and opening up a space for me to maneuver into the lot (even though I’d have to hit the curb on the way in) she revs up and pulls close up to the car behind her. The car in back of her does the same. I am still blocked. I give her a look like WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK and she gives me the finger and says “Seriously? No.”
I can’t come back down the road headed west and try to get in that way because I’d have to wait on the gas line to get anywhere near the entrance. So I back out of the turning lane (it’s curved, this is no mean feat on Hempstead Turnpike), pull back into traffic and head home.
At Beach Street I pull the car over and cry. Heaving, heavy sobs. Sobs of frustration, anger, anxiety and hopelessness.
I just wanted to do one normal thing. I just wanted to feel like I was not in the world of power outage for a little while. Maybe an hour.
And I couldn’t even do that.
I stopped crying, drove past my house with my last shred of hope intact and started crying again when I saw the lights were not on yet.
And now I’m back at my mother’s house, a hostage to god damn fucking LIPA.
Give me strength. Give me a beer. Give me Xanax.
That’s my new mantra.