It’s Thursday night and I stopped at Bob and Lynda’s to help with a chore after work but now I’m at American Social, it’s a couple nights before Hurricane Dorian is set to hit as a Category 4 Hurricane, and as I sit down at the bar with my notebook and Kindle at 9 PM, prepared to be a fucking nerd for two hours, it’s baffling and heartening and saddening and amusing to see the bar so busy. Women half-dressed with their hair flared out and gorgeous and the men all freshly showered with their hair done up in gel, their earrings in place.
You’d never think there was a potentially life-altering storm on the way.
And maybe that’s because it’s a metropolitan area. Everybody at this bar is probably a renter in some nearby building. They’ll just have to deal with the absence of electricity. Flooded streets. Boredom, inconvenience.
The streets were busy tonight on the way back from work. Major traffic arteries congested by serpentine quarter-mile lines for gas. All peripheral chatter is about the storm, every bit of DJ banter between radio segments. People are posting updates on Instagram. They’re getting texts from friends in different countries and states that tell them different things about how strong the storm is and where it’s going.
At the bar, however, the TVs show only football. The conversation on my left is about somebody’s drama at work, the conversation to my right is about someone’s trip to Tampa.
Near the end of my first beer I pick up my phonee and look at headlines about the storm.
New York Post says it might hit Florida as a Cat 5. The president is vocal about expecting total annihilation. Panic in the headlines and all along the airwaves. Forecast? Doom. Endless rain and shattered houses and corpses bobbing facedown along the street.
At American Social, three nights out from Dorian’s landfall, Miamians are watching football, they’re drinking and talking, inching closer to each other on barstools, on couches. You get a vibe like there’s gonna be a little more sex tonight than usual.