I met a couple of women at the talk I gave last night in Dobbs Ferry. They were part of a big, pleasant audience of history buffs. These ladies had read The Orphanmaster with their book group and had been inspired to recreate all the recipes and foodstuffs in the book — including fortified wine! What a great idea. They had a feast, though they told me they had a hard time finding cumin cheese.
I wonder if they ate by candlelight.
We are conserving our candles, our water and our gas. Now there is no fuel to be had anywhere, and we have one generator-full left — about eight hours — and three quarters of a tank in the car. We’re rationing. Two hours of power per day. All the estimates could be kerflooey, but they’ve been saying at least a week before the power comes back, and all bets are off re: finding gas.
Nonetheless, we have driven to the Ossining Public Library (where I will talk on The Orphanmaster next Saturday), well lit and warm, to spend the afternoon with hundreds of other aftermath-refugees, all determinedly using the beefed-up outlets here to charge their phones and computers. Within walking distance: our favorite local lunch place, with succulent, crispy-skinned Carribbean roast pork, yellow rice and red beans, coconut water. It’s nice to be out of the house.
This morning we got some sun on our faces, hiking up with Oliver to the clearing. Shattered limbs covered the trail, many of them too heavy to move. I keep having the feeling, whether watching the images of devastation on tv or passing the eerily quiet service stations (“No gas,” one sign read, “We did the best we could.”) or walking up the path through our woods and sighting over the hill to those majestic wind-overturned cedars, I didn’t know it could be so bad. I just had no idea.
And yet there are hot showers constantly on tap at the gym. So who am I to complain.