by Ann Bogle

Before Sandy, there was hype of Sandy.  On the third day of hype, the broadcasters laughed.  Then B-O-O-M, lights out, houses flooded, and Obama was re-elected.

The man got drunk before Sandy, before anyone knew Her name.  He got drunk after Sandy, but he did not get drunk during Her.  During Her, he sipped white sparkling wine.  He conserved his honor.  Hazard was his forté.  He guided neighbors thrown from daily life.  When the blackout ended, his visiting wife—not in fact his wife, but the one he told people was or would be his wife—flew to her home state to vote.  He opened the emergency bottle of Smirnoff.  He called people on Election Night, believing it was seven Wednesday morning and that the networks had not announced a winner and it would end with the Court.  His friends thought he was nuts not to know the side of day it was but loved him for it.  In the past, they would have said he was bad, not good, not a man.  They would have turned forthwith to flash words any non-native would understand: “good,” “bad,” “fucked up,” “lies.”

There was no hurricane in January 2007.  The man said he did not sleep with the woman's sister but that the sister had stood in the door of the guest room nude.  He had flown New York to Minneapolis, a secret between them, future brother- and sister-in-law.  The sister got him at the airport, and he took her out for Indian food.  The next morning, the sister called the woman to say surprise.  The man had called the woman already, and she had thought he was in New York as usual, but, as the sister told her, he was not in New York but in Minneapolis at the sister's house.  The woman's shouting lasted an hour.  Even the mother, who lived upstairs and couldn't hear as much as feel it, traded loyalty at that.

The woman warned the sister she'd get a restraining order.  Later she told him, “Men from New Jersey go for sisters.  Your dad was from New Jersey.”