Hurricane Ike left Houston badly damaged. Thankfully, our home escaped relatively unscathed, just a few scattered tree limbs here and there. The house was without electricity and running water for quite a while, though.
Long in advance, my father had planned to come up to MIT that same weekend for the Alumni Leadership Conference, but the storm seemed to have blown that trip away with its winds. How could he leave his family, living in a house with no utilities, sweltering in the humidity, standing in line for hours for milk, to enjoy a weekend in the beautiful New England September weather? Well, with schools and businesses closed, and the house in decent shape, my whole family decided to visit.
We had a great time. My father introduced me to some relatives who live nearby, should I ever need anything. They took me out for dinner and ice cream every day, a welcome departure from Next House Dining and Anna’s burritos. Every moment spent with my mother, she insisted that I hadn’t been eating and that more food be obtained to relieve me of the MIT firehose-induced famine. In truth, I’ve been eating well, and the schoolwork hasn’t affected any of my habits, good or bad. In any case, she urged me to go grocery shopping with her. Needless to say, this was not a bad position to be in.
She forced me to stock up on old standbys—Clementines, grapes, Kix, bread, peanut butter, and of course Oreos—to fill my empty fridge. A week of eating nothing but comfort food later, I was horrified to find my Oreo supply dwindling .
Seven in the evening, Saturday night. It had been raining for twenty four hours straight, and there were no signs of the downpour letting up. I put on my windbreaker, grabbed my helmet and empty backpack, and did what any man would do in this situation. It was time to get me some cookies.
On my way out, I ran into Geza ’12, who lives right across the hall from me (Coincidentally, he wrote Wubi and LVPM, two pieces of software I used extensively before arriving to MIT. Felt like I was meeting a rock star when he introduced himself as the developer). He asked where I was off to and if he could join. I told him sure, but I was riding my bike, to which he replied, “Oh, it’s okay. I run everywhere, anyway.”
So we motored over to Shaw’s Star Market, which is just under 1.5 miles from Next House. Even at night in the pouring rain, it beats submitting to LaVerde’s ridiculous prices in the student center.
I told Geza to set the pace, that I would follow. I can imagine how strange this would look like to the pedestrians we passed on our way down a soggy Massachusetts Avenue. First, a six foot tall kid in glasses nearly runs into you, followed closely by another student fiercely pedaling on his bicycle, dressed in all black, like a criminal pursuing a fleeing victim. Add to this the fact that I was senselessly shouting “Run, Forrest, run!” in my best Southern drawl (seriously, I couldn’t resist), and…you get the idea.
So I got my Oreos, and Geza his produce, and we headed back home. Nothing like cookies and Seinfeld reruns to help pass a rainy Saturday night.