Hurricane Sandy Got Me Sicker than Death

    December 3, 2012 at 4:30 am

    Hurricane Sandy got me sicker than death. It could be worse; I still have a place to live and no one I know died and it was time to buy a new car anyway. But have you heard about all the people getting moldy lung? Because I am one of them. My organs are growing mold and my nose is stuffed and I am sick with Hurricane Sandyphysema and I am eating bacon and drinking organic tea in a DIY effort to heal myself (punk rock, or something). Here’s how it happened:

    Moldy Lung

    Hurricane Sandy Photograph

    My mom’s house got flooded by Hurricane Sandy and all of our family pictures got soaked in crappy Gowanus canal and sea water. I loaded them into my rental car and dragged them back to my apartment, where I covered every surface in wet photographs and began spending hours with my scanner as I mechanically loaded and reloaded the machine with water damaged images of different stages of our lives.

    A lot of the pictures didn’t dry. They just started growing black and green mold on them and the photo album sheets they were permanently stuck to. Are permanently stuck to. There are still pages under my desks and tables which I am afraid to look at or touch. I am hoping the problem will go away on its own, which it clearly hasn’t and won’t. But I’m not done scanning yet, dammit! Once I’m finished, I’ll lock up all the pictures in boxes and dump them in the basement where they can slowly infect my entire house with toxic waste while also making me sicker than death.

    Pigeon of Death


    There was a pigeon in my dresser drawer for a while. Someone dropped him off at my mom’s house in a little cat carrier. It was clear that a dog or a cat had chewed on his wing and his leg, but otherwise he was fine. Ever since I found a baby pigeon and named her Pablo and raised her myself and she would sit on my shoulder and want me to pet her, my mom thinks I have some sort of superhuman bird healing powers. She called me and asked me to pick it up and said “come on” until I relented. I emptied a drawer in my bedroom dresser and covered it in old pillowcases and put the pigeon in there with some food and water. I kept it for a week until it could fly again and then let it go in my backyard, but by that time the pillowcase was pretty much covered in bird shit. I’m gross, okay?

    I think I remember hearing something about pigeon shit being toxic or full of diseases which I am probably now full of, and this chain of events most likely had nothing to do with Hurricane Sandy making me sicker than death. but it all happened around the same time so I’m blaming it anyway.

    Mold Mobile


    Hurricane Sandy drowned my car. “At least your weed is dry,” my friend texted me after checking on it. I returned to find the vehicle, the ripped top flopped down in a sad, wet pile, half-filled with neon green water. On the dashboard was a little ziplock bag containing a few dry nuggets of weed. Despite my temptations I did not smoke it. I now realized I could have sold it as art for an unreasonably high price.

    “Make sure you take anything you want out of the car before you get it towed away,” my mom said over the phone. Oh, like the rusty flower halo I bought at the Renaissance fair last year? Or the knives I keep in the trunk in case I find a cool animal on the side of the road and need to take its skull? That’s another story, but the trunk wouldn’t open anyway.

    I did, however, have to sit in the damp seats, which reeked of death and strange organisms, to push my car from one place to another. I had to do this multiple times while I was sicker than death since Cars 4 Kids and everyone else who tows cars is extremely backed up trying to collect all the dead vehicles and haven’t shown up any of the four times they said they would.

    Rusty Ole Jewels


    My mom was an antiques dealer before my father died. Since then, she’s been an antiques hoarder. After you sift through all the leftover ketchup packets my dad used to save from every takeout meal we ordered, she has some pretty nice stuff. She still has some pretty nice stuff, but a whole lot of it got destroyed. While it probably wasn’t so bad that the ketchup and liquified Tic-Tac boxes were forced into the garbage, a lot of her old jewelry was also submerged in poo-water.

    I spent many a day after Hurricane Sandy make me sicker than death hunched over in the back room of her garage, surrounded by an unseen and ever-growing forest of mold, scrubbing the rust from Turquoise bracelets and golden necklaces from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, etc. Calcium Lime Rust, a rubber glove, and a little scrub brush were all I needed to chemically blast those fuckers back into mint condition (except for the pieces which were painted with an enamel that would also rub off — sorry mom).

    I noticed the scrub brush accidentally sending some spray of CLR into my coffee on more than one occasion. And I couldn’t always wear a bandana. It’s just not comfortable. Rust, CLR, and mold do not quite make a delicious lunch but the satisfaction of all those shining jewels sitting in the “finished” basket is worth it.


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