Monday, August 29, 2011

Irene, goodnight

For the first time in my 33 years in ministry, we cancel church. Feels very strange.
I’ve called our members who live downtown to make sure they’re ok. No problems. 
The worst is past. And the worst wasn’t. I go out to see what happened over night. Wind is swirling. Some drops of rain. A quiet, eerie feeling. Not much is open. The corner delis and bodegas. A kosher steak house. The Greek diner on 86th. And curiously, two Korean nail spas. Closed signs on all the churches. Runners are out runnning. Of course. If I could, I'd be running too, checking out the park.
The buses are running! A day early...
Things seem ok at the church. I  see Edward in the north doorway, wearing a  yellow slicker pulled up over his head. He’s asleep. I wonder about waking him or not. An ambulance roars by, sirens wailing. He looks up.
Edward, did you spend the night here?, I ask. 
Nah, I slept in the train station last night. Outa the rain, the storm. 
(Knowing that the subways were shut down, I wonder how be did that, but...)
So, just wanted to make sure you’re ok. 
I’m ok, ok.
I decide to wait until tomorrow to go inside and see how the new pipes managed, how things held up.
The worst is over. People are sitting outside at Gabriela’s, drinking margaritas.
Irene, goodnight.

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