Imagined Hurricane Harvey Through a Child’s Eyes
By: Fredrica Jamoscha
The wind from Hurricane Harvey whipped around with such a ferocity that the noises sounded like they were coming from an IMAX theater. It was frightening, The Mummy frightening. Bruce Willis charging through metal on metal, glass shattering, the Hulk in his biggest rage. My knuckles were white from gripping onto the armchair. It was an old armchair with threadbare fabric, that my grandmother inherited from God knows when. I’m pretty sure that this armchair went through both World War 1 and World War 2, was placed on a steamboat and eventually brought to Houston With gold prospectors.
I bowed my head in supplication, fingering the expensive cloth of my plaid shirt. the stripes were blue and gray much like the color outside my taped-up window. my toes began to feel water. It had started to seep in about an hour ago through the ground and up through the broken tiles of my floor. Their water was warm, not exactly what I expected seeing that the lake near our home is almost always freezing cold even when it’s 102 degrees outside. The water was a dull gray and white nasty mix.
I breathe deeply expecting the water to keep Rising past my ankles as I dangled my feet over the edge of the chair, in all of the 9 years on this Earth I hadn’t quite had this blend of emotions. I raise my head in defiance and looked around the room. My grandmother, who we shared a home with, was a bit of a hoarder. However a little bit unlike any other Hoarder on TV, my grandmother collected things that I thought were of value. take for example the dusty art on the wall, while the frames were cracked and swelled from moisture, and the art was practically falling out of the groove in the wood, I was pretty sure that my grandmother actually met the artist, or at least the artist children at some random backyard Estate sale.
I looked carefully at the clowns in the painting, I’m not sure why my grandmother enjoyed this type of art, however I was pretty sure that I could see it on a museum wall if it was restored to some semblance of normality. Right now that broken frame was skewed at an ungodly angle, and the rattling on the wall from the hurricane didn’t help measures. I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach that it would fall just like the large mirror that had already shattered and now lay under two inches of water in the front of our home.
My fingers rubbed on the Strip of tape holding the chair together as I welcomed the emotional gesture of comfort as it clicked back and forth under my nervous and switching hair. Before our internet went out my uncle was showing us a picture of a bunch of old women sitting in their lounge chairs just like us with water up to their hips. I was pretty sure that that nasty water at my feet would have reached my mouth if that happened to our home. I saw oil slick shimmering on the top of the water near our front door, and some dissolve chemical with bubbling from our kitchen under the sink. I could see it from here because we did not have a cabinet door.
Jesse was crying in the corner, and I’m not really sure her mother understood what was going on, they lived up the road in the trailer park that we were told not to play in because there were needles and I never enjoyed putting shoes on. My parents always were leave hospitable type.
No question in my mind about why we were here, Jason was reading the Bible in the corner and trying to get the rest of us to join along. Everyone was ignoring him and watching the water as it rows millimeter by millimeter up the wall. We could tell how far the water had dried by noting which crack and crevice route was now up to. My mama always talked about those creationist ruining School. But I think she believed a lot of that because she usually only complain when something made her do more work. This was regardless of whether or not it was something that we just needed to do.
Once dad lost his job, he stopped going to church. something about networking and people judging us making that networking not worthwhile anymore. there were a couple people that blamed this hurricane on the current government. now I am sure that something so large and fast could not have been done from way up there and Washington.I was growing tired, and I’m supposed to be napping now in case we have to get airlifted out of here and I might need a swing.
About 48 hours ago before all of this started we scraped together just about everything we could find. I helped by flipping the cushions and looking for change. and we went down to the store to where everyone was going a little bit crazy and in the chaos swirling around us we went ahead and purchased some things. I took note that the waffles and chicken flavor potato chips by Lays what just about the only thing still stocked on the Shelf.
We already have the for sale sign on our lawn, and now with this coming along there was no way that we were going to get out of this tiny hell hole. But as my parents say that is about what we are doled out and we must accept. I refuse to believe that, I knew that if I wanted enough they gave in. I’m pretty sure that that is a lesson that Can stand and take for a long time forward.
The illegals that we used to keep in our basement we’re long gone, I think they had a little more common sense than we did about moving up into the middle of the country. I knew that there was going to be all sorts of disaster relief people Milling about trying to help, and I’m pretty certain that they are nervous about folks like that and their Goodwill.
I felt the soft crinkle of paper in my pocket, this was something from a dream board that I used to stare up from my bed. Well not sure I would call the bed but every morning I would roll up my sleeping bag and put it into the bottom cover, and when start getting dark I would pull it back out and spread it until the corners were all smooth and flat and Tuck myself in. I would stare up at the ceiling and look at the textures and Chase and imagine a vast future plot it out from dot to dot. Just alongside the microwave stand I had a small cork board with a couple of pictures and articles into it.
Some of these were letters from my friends that have moved on to other parts of the country, and some of these were business ideas that I thought I might get into. I had a picture of a stethoscope. However the one thing that I took for my pocket, was the mountains way up North. I knew that up there I could eat just by hunting, and that if there was water and rain I can climb up the mountain and be free from any Rising water.
As the carpet just about disappeared beneath the 3 or 4 inches of water that now existed all across our home floor, I recalled laying on my knees on the floor with my feets laid out behind me playing with dolls and race cars and other bi gendered toys.
I could hear the helicopters hovering, as they whipped about water splashing around and creating more chaos than already existed. My mind wandered as the smell of diesel gasoline walking through our home. We kept it up on the roof and covered it with some tarps my dad nailed them down right onto the shingles.
Couple of my brother stood watch out the window, I kept hearing them whisper to each other some indication about not coming near our home. I could see through the glass though as the rain rivulets drip down on the glazed deck window. They were talking about groups of people sloshing through the water and taking things from homes that were evacuated a long time ago. They were pretty good protectors, they did the same for me when they were both in school and definitely helped me out when some of the neighbors kids pushed me around. I wonder if they’re growing up through this hurricane was going to mean that they were too grown-up to help me. That’s what some of my friends say their older siblings are like after the other hurricane Katrina came through.
I nibbled on the last of my chocolate bar as it melted in my warm mouth and left a Bittersweet flavor.