Sandy didn’t much inconvenience me at the time. There's a bar just downstairs, and if I wanted to, I could have spent a good part of the storm drinking. But I had more work than usual, since I write about climate change and disaster preparedness, and as the storm started, so did emails from editors. Our power stayed on through the whole storm, and I spent three days straight writing, talking to sources over crackling cellphone connections, feeling lucky that we’d moved, a couple months before, out of the East Village -- our old apartment was just a few blocks from that power station that blew -- and thinking about friends who still lived there.
Now, Sandy inconveniences me almost every day. It began maybe six months after the storm, when the R train, my subway train, started stopping at random. The conductors kept mumbling something over the intercom about “signal trouble.” One day, I got on the train, and it pulled out of my station -- and no farther. You could probably still see the train from the platform, if you stuck your head out and craned your neck. The train stayed there. I’m not sure for how long. It felt like a long time. More than half an hour. Maybe 45 minutes. Long enough that I started to hate the two nattily dressed friends sitting across from me who complained the whole time that this, this was why people didn't take the subway.
But I couldn’t blame them: We were trapped like hamsters in a box, and everyone was freaking out, a little bit. Finally, finally, finally, we moved to the next stop, maybe a 10-minute walk from the station where I had boarded, and every single person got off the train and transferred to another line. Any other line.