It’s 3:29 a.m. and I just cannot sleep. I cannot get what happened today out of my head, and I have this sick, twisting feeling in my gut that won’t go away.
I don’t live in Moore now, but I did for a period of a year. My lease ended a month ago on a house just a block north of where the tornado hit.
Even though I’m alright (I live in OKC now), I can’t help but be worried sick about my friends who were in the path of the tornado. Everyone is alive, but some have faced major losses. This is cutting me deeper for that reason. I was shocked as I listened live on the radio on my way home from work, as the tornado cut a swath over familiar streets and buildings. I could not believe it hit so close to where me and my friends used to live. When I finally saw the footage, especially the schools, it was too much. I can’t imagine how the people of Moore are feeling now, because I feel sick.
Moore was my home for a year. I ran and drove down those streets, I ate at those restaurants, and going to the Warren to see a new movie was one of my favorite things to do. Seeing the city hit like it was yesterday hurt.
Everything I’m doing now with my writing seems moot in comparison, even if it’s highly important to me. I hate to think of all the lives that were lost. Just imagining that level of pain is horrible and no amount of words can wipe it away. Living in Oklahoma, the threat of tornadoes is always in the back of your mind, and is always very real. I learned that the minute I moved here from southeastern Texas, and not a spring has passed where I’ve haven’t heard the sirens.
To see the familiar landmarks in Moore either tarnished or completely uprooted feels wrong. The footage looks like the scene of an apocalypse. Even now in OKC, I can hear sirens passing my apartment.
I think when something big like this happens, it becomes overwhelming, especially the closer you are to it. I can’t help but think of the symbolism of the marquee sign on the Warren, which showed the movie titles “Into Darkness” and “Oblivion.”
I feel like that’s what happened in Moore. I hate to be so dark, but I want to be honest about this. Yes, people will rebuild and push on despite the catastrophic loss, and there are moments of heroism that give us hope, but I don’t want to understate how very bad it is. I feel so fortunate that my family and friends are alright, at least physically, even if there were some very, very close calls. For many people, that was not the case.
There is no way to put into words the horror of watching it, much more, living it. The closer you are to something, the more important it is. But Moore will be living with this awhile, maybe even decades.
There is nothing more I can say, because there are no words. This hurts.
If you are reading this, then please donate $10 to the Oklahoma Red Cross by texting “Red Cross” to 90999. A little bit goes a long way.