Good night, Irene!
As my schedule changed course with the capricious winds, I crossed the wine festival off my list, scratched out the NY Pops no-show at Bethel Woods and, stumbling through the darkened house, stubbed my toe in the first of several Irene-related injuries that I sustained while wondering whether I should brave the storm to see Stevie Nicks (I did not) live in concert, again at Bethel Woods. Friday night was beautiful, so I walked down to the lake to observe the fireworks that always delight toward the end of the summer season.
Bashing my leg into the truck, I screamed, cursed the darkness and howled, as if in preparation for the storm, whimpering all the way home to nurse the injury, which had swelled (not unlike the rising tides) enough to cause concern.
While I still had power, I checked the path of destruction that Irene had left in her wake as she made her way up the coast, threatening the Hudson Valley. As the lights flickered once again, it occurred to me that only the weather had the awesome power to make me feel so vulnerable, isolated and alone. I wandered from room to room, making sure the flashlights were in place and literally walked into a wall, tearing my arm from its socket. I wailed like a banshee, wondering aloud whether karma was not working its magic spell on me after accusing “Ain’t Misbehavin’” of being clumsy.
As I tore my shirt off to inspect the damage to my arm, I sprained my index finger and squealed. Limping to the bathroom, I stopped to pick up the cell phone, which was (just like the land line) dead. Giving in to despair, I slumped against the wall, and felt a sliver of epic proportions enter my backside and make its way up my spine, which finally... made me cry. Unable to walk, incapable of lifting a feather, with my eyesight blurred by a torrent of tears, I attempted to shake my fist toward the heavens and listened to the gusts as they shook the cabin before swallowing a tranquilizer, an aspirin and a sleeping pill.
Just before drifting off, I sighed and admitted that the storm had gotten the better of me, and had also veered a bit, wreaking havoc, slightly out of control. Praying that I would wake to sunny skies, I counted my injuries, rather than sheep, and thought of Little Richard, who also shook, shimmied and cried as he made his voice heard over the din, howling those immortal words: “Good night, Irene!”