There’s always some sign of human beings even in the heaviest of rainstorms. Walking around the house, the gentle rain falling shouldn’t be enough to drive people indoors.

The drops sometimes make a ping as they ricochet off a loose piece of siding, mocking the streets that absorb the raindrops without comment. The world is still and silent.

In even the heaviest of rainstorms, I’ll usually notice a distant car, or a footfall rushing home, but there’s no sound of humanity out here. On this evening before the storm hits, we’ve seen the state prepare and maybe over-prepare. There’s a hurricane coming, currently south of the Delmarva peninsula, that will soon be here in New Jersey.

All those preparations we’ve been making–getting that junk we haven’t used in years off the basement floor, filling containers with drinking water–doing all these just gives us time to think. The more we prepare, the more we descend into unease.

Tomorrow, I’ll go around town and see the flooding. The parks will be craters filled with brown water, the grass strangely bright green and scrubbed clean. The streets will be filled with branches and leaves. People will be dazed as they walk on the section of Route 18 overpass sticking out of the flooded areas, walking over the rushing Raritan river. But right now, people are afraid and indoors, hoping their homes will protect them from the wind coming up soon.

Neil Fein is a freelance editor. On the side, he’s the guitarist in the band Baroque & Hungry, rides a mean bicycle, and paints in oils when the mood strikes him.


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