The power is out and food in the refrigerator warms by the minute.
Radio and television stations are off the air as if you had a receiver that worked.
You can't call out, can't listen in, things worsen by the hour. The elevator in your high-rise is stuck somewhere below the 20th floor.
First night: All is quiet and dark. People are hunkered down in their personal islands. You don't know your neighbors, never bothered. People peek behind chained doors and slam them quickly.
Second day: You’ve eaten everything you think safe from the frig and can’t warm it. It was cold last night, and you dug out winter things.
The sky is blue and the quiet is eerie. Condensation trails from high-altitude jets going somewhere where life is normal streak the sky. Otherwise, it appears to be an ordinary day.
You know the situation is bad, but you don’t know what you don’t know. You don’t know if and when help will come and in what form.
You don’t know who you can trust.
If this sounds like a bad dream, then (as I write this) millions in the New York City area have been sleeping.
While healthy and well-hydrated people could live for quite a long time without food, the same cannot be said about water. The more you eat, the more you need water.
You have to have water. People are not designed to live beyond a few days without it.
You hope you can find a water source soon because your water heater only contains 30 gallons.
Finding water is not a problem in most open places, but I wouldn’t know where to look in a place like NYC.
I suppose I’d start at one of the parks and try to haul back enough to filter and sterilize into potable water.
Living in a densely populated place such as NYC is not a place for independent-minded people.
There is a very old saying about places that are “nice to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there.”
People who live in cities live dependent lives. If the infrastructure begins to crumble, chaos grows.
Folks living in rural or small towns pull together and have a sense of community. There are, in my mind, no big city perks worth trading for a feeling of comm-UNITY.
I’ve made contributions and sent up prayers, but the surest way that a New Yorker never finds himself in such a caged rat situation again is for him to move out of there to a place where he can have a more independent, peaceful, richer life.
Joe Phillips writes his “Dear me” columns for several small newspapers. He has many connections to Walker County, including his grandfather, former superintendent Waymond Morgan. He can be reached at email@example.com.