Harvey

Last night I remembered how scared, how alone I’d been during hurricane Harvey.

Yeah, I’d busied myself with packing donations. That was before I’d realized I couldn’t get out of the apartment building, or that the atmospheric pressure changes had impacted me as they had.

I’m embarrassed to have been so affected when others lived through things of unimaginably different proportions.

I suppose I’ll go into detail later.

So, last night, after watching video clips and photos projected onto a large screen above a stage filled with Houstonians singing something beautifully and appropriately inspirational, I spent the remainder of the show ashamedly swiping away tears. Frustrated. Angry. I’ve no reason to complain.

I’d been as helpless as I’d felt during the hurricane. Vertigo, spasticity – crawling on the floor because my stomach wasn’t handling movement well enough to stand.

I had stopped eating and drinking water at some point because it made me sick. Five days? That was it. A measly five days in a midrise apartment building. I couldn’t handle five days. Ridiculous.

Help. I wanted to help, not need help. I contacted Houston-area family and friends. If any of them needed anything then, dammit, I would find a way.

Instead, reality. Dad rushed in when he’d heard I’d been alone through the storm. Off to hospital.

It amazed me that I had smiled and joked with EMTs during hospital transport. A bout of the familiar ‘low’ had hit during the few days of isolation. The small cuts on my arm attested to that; the female EMT had noticed and pressed about it. I told her that I had accidentally cut my arm during one of my falls.

Maybe that’s why the storm had – unbeknownst to me until last night – taken a toll on me. Maybe because I had been so low, and alone, and helpless – maybe that’s why I cried while watching that recap of the hurricane.

No one had noticed. I was glad for that.

Lightning outside. I pretended to be asleep while Dad drove me home so I wouldn’t have to see the lightning. Sometimes thunder and lightning don’t bother me at all, sometimes they do.

But now, like last night, I just want to paint and then go to sleep.

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