Smoke. Oil. Rotten food.
Tuesday after Hurricane Sandy, the residents of Sheepshead Bay creep out of their houses and approach the inlet. Rain sporadically falls on the crowd as they survey the damage, scarves tight over their noses.
A tree uprooted, displacing the sidewalk
The bridge twisted like DNA.
Pungent rainbows rippling in the water.
Cars line the street waiting for a tow truck or a miracle. People sit in their drowned vehicles. Some stare straight ahead at cracked window shields. Others cry, forehead on the steering wheel. But either way, the cars stay silent.
Residents exclaim in various languages—Russian, Georgian, Turkish, Korean— but their native language is peppered with the American classic: “Oh my God.”
Everything to do and nothing to do. They stare at the destruction and light a cigarette.