It’s about midnight. The snow is relentless and my brother Pat and I are curious.
“Let’s go outside and check out the carnage,” Pat suggests.
“Look at all the trees down in front of Uncle Mikey’s house. Oh shit, and to the left of the pool, too! This is crazy!”
Pat and I look at each other and simultaneously say, “Fuck! That was a transformer!” We rush into the house to see what happened even though we already knew.
“Put blankets on mom,” Pat orders. “Light some candles.”
The phone rings. It’s probably my brother Eddie who lives nearby with his wife and two babies. His power must be out as well.
“Mom, do you have power?” he asks. “I don’t have power! What are we going to do? Mom! Mom, we can’t stay here!”
Eddie, his wife Lisa, and the kids show up minutes later so we can all make a game plan together.
“We have to go to a hotel, mom,” Eddie says. “There is nothing else we can do. It’s too cold for you and the babies.”
“I can’t leave Prudence!” mom cries.
“It’s a goddamn cat, mom,” I say. “Let’s go, she’ll be fine,”
Lisa takes control.
“Every hotel is sold out. There is nothing in Newburgh, Highland or even freakin’ Kingston. The only place is the 87 Motel in New Paltz. Maria, you know how to get there, right?”
We all pile into cars and battle the snowy roads. We’re the last ones to check in before the place fills occupancy.
Soon, I’m staring at the rip in the bed skirt while Eddie’s son Ray jumps on the bed.
Mom worries about Prudence.
“I don’t like leaving my own house,” mom says. “If your father was still here I wouldn’t have to leave my own house.”
“Mom, would you rather be in the freezing cold house? The thermostat said 40 when we went back for clothes,” I remind her as Pat seeks solace in the TV.
“Strong earthquake hits off the south coast of Japan, rattling buildings over 100 miles away in
Taiwan, causing officials to issue a tsunami warning…”
I turn to Pat. “Oh man, shit is going down!”
“Yeah, it’s a snowpocylpse – snowageddon if you will!” jokes Pat.
Lisa runs in our room, “Is it cold in your room? I think the heat is broken in ours.”
I wave my hand in front of the heater that has a stain I pretend is food related, “Nope, no heat!”
The television sparks off. The lights flicker and dim to nothing.
No electricity, again.