So we finally have power! But no water yet. There are several burst pipes in our complex and we have to wait until plumbers can safely arrive to the apartments.
The snow and ice are finally starting to melt. I hope we don’t have more freezing temperatures. I booked us a hotel for the night so we can shower. Not being able to feel clean is horrible. We are safe in the hotel and have had dinner as well. I’ve showered and feel so much better. Of course I’ll feel even better once I’m able to shower at home but for now I’m satisfied.
The hotel is very nice so far and super convenient! We have a kitchenette which should come in handy.
Being at the warming center and not being able to bathe for a week reminded me a lot of my times at the homeless shelters. It was a weird feeling. Back then I felt helpless and hopeless. But this time, even though it brought back old feelings, I also felt happy. I felt that way because I knew I had a home to go to, even if it was freezing ay the time.
It made me reflect and appreciate what I have and what I’ve gained. It reminded me of what we’ve overcome. And I’m grateful and finally not hungry.
It’s Thursday the 18th at 4:30AM. We’re home now. But earlier today my family and I went to a warming center.
It’s in a church and the staff were very nice and welcoming. There was homemade food and lots of snacks and drink.
Again Im setting to write chronologically but my mind feels fragmented. I can’t sleep and I’m so cold still.
We were able to charge up our phones and back up battery. Another family was there and they were very friendly.
Maybe out of the five staff, 2 were wearing masks. The cold from the past few days has been wreaking havoc on my body. I think I’ve also been close to hyperthermia.
Very few of the other families were wearing masks. TJ was set up on an air mattress but they had a hard time sleeping. Their 5 equally friendly dogs were with them.
I was on a cot. I spent about three hours on it. Tossing and turning, trying to get comfortable. It wasn’t very warm by then. But it wasn’t as bad as home. My back and neck are so stiff. I realized, do they even make things like this for the disabled?
One of the staff came in and asked if he could lead us all in a prayer. I whispered to Vall to just bow their head. I reminded them not to say we’re atheists. We bowed our heads. Because old habits die hard when the prayer was over I repeated amen and did the sign of the cross. That was amusing.
I can’t keep writing. My fingers are colder than ice.
We drove back home slowly because lying in that cot was going to cause me more harm than good.
Well, I figured I would start writing again but I didn’t think it would be about a winter storm in Texas. Like I mentioned in a previous post, TJ and I moved to Texas not too long ago.
I wanted to write chronologically but I’m going to listen to my body. My stomach is currently audibly grumbling. We finally had hot food a few hours ago after almost three days without. We’ve been eating snacks. We have food but it is perishable.
Once the power was cut, the water stopped. I think the pipes froze. We kept the faucets open as per guidance to prevent burst pipes but alas…
I take about 14 medications a day and haven’t been able to take them regularly because I need to take them with food. The snacks we have are running low. We (slowly) drove around yesterday looking for food. No luck.
Today we called around for hotels but they’re price gouging, or not accepting pets. My cat is part of the family. If he isn’t welcomed then neither are we.
This morning I woke up so stiff, I could barely walk. Chronic pain and cold weather? Not a joke. My wife and daughter were in the car, warming up and charging their phones. NOTE: we are able to do this because we’re in our complex’s parking lot. DO NOT do this if you are in your own garage or similar confined space. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be lethal.
We have a fire place but being from the projects in NYC I don’t know how to work them and I don’t know if it’s even safe to have it on.
My cat, who is usually very aloof, is sleeping on my lap. I’m currently under two big blankets and have a scarf wrapped around my head and socks on my feet. I’m still cold. My stomach continues to grumble.
We finally were able to get flashlights and so tonight should be easier. We’ve been using our phones but not much because we want to try to conserve battery.
I saw some Northern jackasses think it’s funny that -sorry, stomach again- Texas is cold and powerless.
You hate the politicians, not all its people.
When you make jokes like that you aren’t hurting Ted Cruz. You’re hurting poor people and BIPOC who are suffering the most right now.
Anyway, my daughter TJ just called me from the warming center. They don’t want to come back home. And I don’t blame them. Not having water causes sanitation issues. For example, we have two bathrooms and the apartment stinks because we haven’t been able to flush.
Because we have no water we can’t shower and because we have no power we can’t boil water either.
Things are miserable. But I know they could be worse. But just because other people have it worse than I do does not mean any of us should suffer.
As of this writing, at 6:32PM central time Wednesday February 17th 2021, we have been without power for about 55 plus hours. We are expecting more winter precipitation. We should finally hit close to 60 degrees on Friday. But can we last that long? Me and my family? Yes. It’ll be hard. I will continue to complain but yes we will live.
Our homeless and more vulnerable neighbors? I don’t know but I am not optimistic. And given the way local and state government have handled any if this so far, well, they don’t inspire confidence in me.
Check in on your neighbors. Donate food and money when you can. If you have special skills for this type of weather volunteer if possible. Let’s try to help each other.
I’ll keep updating and hoping this is all over soon.
But in the past 6 months things have gotten so much better! I moved! Yup, I left NYC for the South and I gotta say I kinda love it here. I’m much happier and less stressed.
I also got married. It’ll be 6 months soon. My wife is amazing. She’s just everything I could ever hope for and more. As an Atheist this is silly, but I call her my miracle. Cheesy but true. Before her I didn’t think love like this could exist. Kind, patient, loving, SAFE.
But it is possible. And I’m so grateful. TJ is thriving and doing better than they had in a while.
The reason I’m writing this is to ask for your help. My wife would love to adopt TJ. TJ would love for my wife to be their new second parent.
As I’ve mentioned, I’m disabled and I worry that one day I will not be able to properly take care of TJ. My wife helps with all that she can but when she’s taken TJ to appointments because I was ill, they called me to verify that my wife could make decisions on my behalf. If something were to happen to me, legally my wife wouldn’t have any rights. I fear TJ would end up in the system or with their biological father.
I have written about Jekyll before (see links above) so I won’t rehash it. While he is willing to sign the paperwork necessary for this process to continue he is insisting we do it all through court. He could just go get some papers signed in front of a notary but I guess he just doesn’t trust it.
So here we are. I’m asking for your help in covering attorney and adoption fees. All the relevant information is in this link to the Gofundme.
If you are able to help financially, please do. If you are not, sharing the fundraiser helps a lot too.
Thank you for your time and for reading my posts. I hope that now that I’m in a better place (in every sense of the phrase) I can come back to writing more regularly for Mandesty and general social justice posts.
Much love and peace to y’all. Stay safe out there.
Sunflower Punk aka Alex R.
Ohana means family. And family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.