In the northeast last night millions went to bed afraid.
The source of their fear were predictions of the worst March snow in almost 25 years. The weather maps looked like nonstrous floods of primary colors, like a plague of blood locusts or a tidal wave of yellow acid.
Billions of gallons of milk, tons of bread and bottles of wine were bought. Gallows humor and riffs on the now-named storm “Stella” flooded the Internet. Road travel banned, every institution, business and venue closed and everyone whose job role is deemed as “non-essential” was ordered, literally, to stay off the roads of death.
I was pissed that I might be considered “non-essential”.
With 40 active clients 7 hungry employees (all staying home BTW) and a bunch of publishers tapping their toes, meetings tomorrow and the day after to prepare for, I really (really) want to feel “Essential”.
Our kids are grown and in others states, my wife has been commanded by her job to work at home, no parents are left alive to worry over, I am both over-committed and yet “non-essential”.
There is fear for the “essential”. They were told by my weatherman at 11 last night “Go in now!” (second, unsaid, message: “BEFORE ITS TOO LATE!”) to the Hospital, the Police station, the Firehouse.
My reptile brain is saying that to me right now.
But I piston thru in the silent darkness, writing this, safe in my barn, seeing not much, but very wet snow, where “4 INCHES AN HOUR!” was screamed.
I am “non-essential” but I will scurry, like the reptile I am, the 1/4 mile in my 4 wheel drive car through the couple inches of snow to work, because, well, because I am too dependent on feeling “essential” not to.
It is both sad and silly, but not very dangerous because so few – so very few – are actually “essential” that the roads will be empty.
And in the dark silence of my office I can get some work done – something that has always been essential – to me.