Daily life in Puerto Rico these days, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria two months ago, is proof of patience, even for the middle class.
Few traffic lights work and that slows down travel to a crawl. Electricity is sporadic, so storing the fridge is still a risky proposition.
"He gets tired of eating cold things, or eating things in a can, or not being able to take a hot bath," says marketing executive Edmaris Carazo. He was born and raised in Puerto Rico and writes the blog Siempre Jueves . "They are the little things that you miss the most".
Carazo has written about his frustrations about daily life in Puerto Rico in the online magazine "Catapult".
Here is an excerpt.
As I write this, it has been three weeks since my not-so-new-spouse, my two dogs and I were butchered in the middle of a hallway. Barely a month after the roar that came violently through our doors and windows: a long and persistent roar that tormented us for hours; a roar that was followed by a deep and desolate silence. A silence that was filled by an AM radio station. An AM radio station that only narrated bad news. Bad news delivered by voices that did not know where their aunt, cousin, grandson or grandmother were. People who mourned for their families with hearing impairments, blind and disabled. Humans begging those who lived near the ocean, or on the side of a river, or at the foot of the mountain to please report. And then the wrath of the wind was replaced by the cruel whisper of the unknown.
They say that after twenty-one days, everything you do can become a habit, a part of you. I think that's why we are just now beginning to realize that this really happened to us.
I lived almost four years with my not-so-new-spouse before marrying him, and at that moment I managed to create a fantasy in which I did not go to the bathroom, making him believe that I am a princess or a perfect robot. Now I have to announce the purpose of my visit if I go to the bathroom, if I have to empty it. I had to overcome the humiliation. I tried to convince myself that I was on a camping trip, one of those camping trips that I never liked, but this time it's an indefinite camp between concrete and cement walls: camping without a view of the sea, without the salty breeze that refreshes, without the sweetness of an imaginary vacation.
Once I traveled for two weeks and woke up in five different cities. It has always been easy for me to get used to the changes, so when I woke up sweating, overheated, I thought I was in another new city, but it was not like that. I woke up in my house, in my living room; We had to move the mattress because the heat in our room is hellish since it happened. I woke up in my own country, the island that has always cost me a lot of love, and smelled of bags that have been in trash cans for eleven days, like toilets that only stain after three or four piss. It smelled of bodies that are covered in buckets; like our beach cooler that used to have butter, milk, cheese and ham, and it was already ice-free, smelling of deep rot. However, we can not get rid of it, since any liquid is now fuel to rinse the toilet.
Once I took a script workshop with a teacher who told us that he flushed the toilet every time he took a shower. He lost the water without any remorse, approximately three to seven gallons, depending on the model, because the sound of the toilet caused a strange sensation of closure and satisfaction for him. I can not help wondering if today you throw the buckets of rainwater into the container, just to preserve any sense of normality after what happened to us.