Now Sandy was about a month ago. And now seems the perfect time to reflect on what happened to me.

I live on Long Island. All of Long Island was affected differently. I was fortunate enough to be in an area that was hit hard, but not devastated. Devastated, what a word, but there isn’t one powerful enough to describe what happened to some families. Sandy was the real deal.

Now back to my story. Before she hit, she was on every news station. Everyone and their brother was covering the ‘Frankenstorm on the east coast.’ They made her sound bad, like they always do with storms like this. I figured it was a strategy to get more viewers to their channel. Being that hurricanes don’t hit Long Island very often, and the ones that have (or at least the ones that I was alive to experience) haven’t been too bad. Here I was thinking that Sandy would show up to my front door, huff and puff and try to blow my house down, then run away with her tail between her legs to try her luck on another town.

I was wrong.

Welcome to my front yard and the cause of my outage.

The power went out the night of the storm. Even though I was getting ready to go to bed, it was a wake-up call. Maybe this storm is going to be a tad worse than expected… Nah, I bet we’ll get power back tomorrow. Guess I’ll just have to tough it out until then.

I got power back on Day 13 after the storm.

Now, during my freshman orientation for Baruch, I was let in on a little insider information: like my high school, Baruch tends not to close too often. If the subways are down and the weather is exceptionally bad, then the school may decide to shut down for a day. But essentially, don’t get your hopes up because it rarely happens.

School was cancelled for a week.

So let’s get this straight. School was closed for a whole week, and I had no power for 13 days after the storm. Which obviously means that I had no power during the time school was closed. What did I do you ask? Well, besides the cold showers, morgue showers (I worked in a hospital, and when it got power, I went to the morgue and used the shower that they had in it), lack of internet, no electronic devices, no cell phone signal, no freezer, spoiled meats, gas lines, no ice, barbequed foods each night, nothing in grocery stores, trees down, power lines lying lifeless in the street, and lots and lots of darkness; something pretty profound happened to me.

I picked up a book. ‘Wait, you picked up a book, who cares…?’ Well let me explain.

I never read books. Never. A teacher would assign one, and I’d look up the summary. I hated reading and reading hated me, we had a mutual relationship. So why did I pick up a book in the first place? Frankly, I was bored. Boredom like you wouldn’t believe. So I went to my basement, picked out a nice 600 page Stephen King book and got crackin’. Bag of Bones was the title and I couldn’t put the damn thing down. It was the most interesting experience of my life. I loved reading it. Now I don’t love many things, but ‘reading that book’ made the list. The story, the characters, the horror, It was amazing and I was hooked.

This overweight fella changed my life.

I’ve read three other Stephen King books after the incident. I can’t stop. I don’t plan on stopping either.

I’ve filled a little void in my life and, despite everything, I thank Sandy for this.

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