The Sun: "Vitality and health abound, while you feel assurance and clarity in all that you do." I would not go quite so far as that, but I do feel better today, like the clouds are lifting a little bit.
It's been a wild few weeks. I went back to work, Declan was in camp, but the work schedule and the camp schedule lined up poorly. Dec and I got into a routine with it, though--I got up at five, yawned and drank some water, went for a "run" and was back around five-thirty. Yawned some more, packed Declan's lunch. While I was in the shower, Matt would wake Declan and get him ready for the day. We were out the door by six-fifteen most days, drive half an hour to the Bronx, pick up coffee (for me) and snacks (for the boy) and bagels (for both of us), get to work and eat breakfast facing each other across my desk. By seven or so, I was starting work and Declan was playing video games. Eight-thirty we leave for camp--twenty-minute drive to the Bronx Zoo, drop off at the employee entrance, twenty minute drive back. Work until two-thirty or so, and work was busy, trying to get ready for another school year. Then back to the Zoo for camp pickup, forty-five minutes drive home, and then Declan would head to his room to play Roblox for an hour or two while I watched television on my laptop and tried to fend off feeling exhausted and hopeless.
One day, putting keys in the front door of the apartment building, I saw the rainbows--do you remember back when, when we put rainbows in windows for kids to see when they went for walks? Declan drew Elephant and Piggie holding hands under a rainbow and we put it next to the front door of our building, and the graphic designer who was subletting apartment 1F also made a rainbow, and the preteen who stays upstairs from us with her dad every-other-weekend made a rainbow too, except hers for some reason is captioned "Poopsie Slime Surprise Says I Love You!" Those rainbows are all still in the window next to the door, frayed at the edges and sun-faded after seventeen months. I see them every day, obviously, but this one day it was like I -saw- them and then it all washed over me and I started crying. I don't know if Declan noticed, he was pretty busy explaining the grand strategy that has made him a camp-group champion in Step On Your Shoe.
So it was, like, fine? This routine? It wouldn't be one I'd keep for the long term, but for two weeks it was working, we were getting everything done. And then there was the rain. I just. Look, here is the thing, it really could have been a lot worse. Some people in our neighborhood had ten, twelve, fourteen inches of water in their basement. Other people in the city died, trapped in rising waters. People lost their lives, lost their homes, or just had thousands and thousands of dollars of damage. So we are fine. We are safe, we are healthy, we didn't lose anything we couldn't afford to lose.
That said: jesus christ people that was a lot of water. At the peak, I think we had about two inches of water throughout the entire basement, which is a full half of the living space in our apartment. The landlord (who lives in the identical apartment in the building next door) was trying to figure out where it came from--was our patio drain clogged, did the floor pump fail, was there a leak in the wall. All we can tell him is that it came out of the floor tiles, out of the earth itself beneath our building, it seeped up and overran everything. And it's not just, like, oh hey that's rainwater. The water itself drained back out through the floor again over the next day or two, but it left behind water-soaked rugs and books and stuffed animals, it seeped into the particleboard of Declan's bedframe and desk, and when the waters drained away they left behind the most awful smell, like shit and dead things.
It's getting better. Matt and I worked for most of the last three days, hauling rugs and dismantling furniture and filling trash bags and mopping floodwater residue from the tiles. I gave some stuffed animals a hard shower with the garden hose and they seem okay. We're okay. We're living amidst vast piles of chaos because it's not clear how to put our apartment back together right now, especially when we're so close to moving, but it doesn't smell anymore, it's all clean now at least.
We're fine. Everything's fine, I'm just really tired. But today did feel better, inside my brain, more normal again, and that's something.