01:01:07 pm on
Tuesday 21 May 2024

Hurry Up and Wait
AJ Robinson

Hurricane Dorian destroys Bahamas.

When a hurricane hits, it’s usually, for lack of a better term, a high-speed event. The storm forms, barrels toward the shore. Then we deal with the impact and aftermath.

Dorian is slowest moving hurricane.

Not this time, though, hurricane Dorian, without a doubt, is the slowest moving storm in the history of Atlantic storms. I would be hard-pressed to think of another hurricane I’ve heard of that has moved as slow as does Dorian. At certain points, it slowed to as little as one mile per hour, which was over the Bahamas. To put that in perspective, a walking man typically moves at the rate of three miles per hour, which is slow.

Dorian pummelled, continually, several islands of the Bahamas for more than a full day. The damage and devastation is only now is assessable. Given the fact Puerto Rico is still recovering from Hurricane Maria, which hit more than a year ago, I fear the Bahamas will be looking at years of reconstruction.

Yet, as of this writing, Dorian has yet to hit Florida, fully. We have spent the last several days preparing, buying food and supplies and dealing with the shutdown of the schools and my office. We’ve spent a lot of time watching the news to get updates, checking that we have all our medications and more time than I’ve ever known sitting around waiting.

We watched for signs of the hurricane.

This is the slowest damn storm in history. Given the uncertainties of hurricanes, all of the east coast of Florida is on alert and there are concerns that the storm will reach as far into the state as Orlando; that’s forty or so miles. We wait. We watch the skies go from clear and sunny to overcast and rainy in the space of an hour. Then we watch it do it all over again two hours later.

Yeah, that’s crazy, right. As the storm is now weaker and sort of skirting the coast, our chief concern is rain. We could see major flooding. Yet, we wait. Instead of going to a shelter, we sit around the house and indulge in a bit of fun: old-fashioned board games.

We first went to see our friends Brian and MJ for a little pizza and Bonanza Sunday night; we figured it was the safest time to do it. Now, two days later, we’ve played enough of the “Scooby-Doo” version of Monopoly that we’ve memorized, practically, all the “Zoinks” and “Ruh-Roh” cards. Yet, we’re not complaining.

If anything good can come out of a hurricane, it is how we get to spend time with our friends and family. We’re just lucky we dodged a direct hit from the storm. Given the fact Dorian, for a time, was a huge category-5 storm, with winds at 185 mph with gusts to 220 mph and a storm surge of about twenty feet, we are very lucky not to get a direct hit of a massive hurricane.

Wish everybody was so lucky.

Now, sitting in my office, writing and watching television, I hear the wind howl outside, the rain beat against the windows and darkness closing in. I doubt we’ll get anything more than some minimal flooding, but I’m glad we took proper precautions and that this whole episode amounted to nothing more than a reason to play a few games with the family. I wish all victims of hurricane could be so lucky.


Combining the gimlet-eye of Philip Roth with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Working, again, as an engineeer, after years out of the field due to 2009 recession and slow recovery, Robinson finds time to write. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true. His teen vampire adventure novel, "Vampire Vendetta," will publish in 2020. Robinson continues to write books, screenplays and teleplays and keeps hoping for that big break.

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