The following is taken from my journal of August 22, 1983. Among other topics, I mention our return to Houston after vacationing in Indiana. We returned shortly after Hurricane Alicia‘s visit.
Back again [at the Kaypro II computer], and so soon! It is time that better things be done. The previous banter about a short novel is all right, but there are other things going through my mind. I think, occasionally, about doing something blatantly funny. I do have a reasonably good sense of humor, and have even written some very funny things. I could use, as a base, some of the funny material I wrote during my spree with “John’s” novel. Particularly, the parts concerning John’s first encounter with his friend, and the story this friend told to him about his experiences on his way to the coffee shop. I mean, that tends to be hilarious. I can do much more, if only I give myself a chance.
I forgot to mention yesterday that our return trip to Houston was marred by a small accident in the U-Haul trailer. The bottom of the trailer was stacked with boxes of books, and I foolishly placed two plastic jugs of drinking water at the rear of the trailer. Of course, the jugs were damaged during the trip and leaked, and also of course the trailer slanted to the front so that all the water poured down and into the bottoms of all the book boxes. Several (inconsequential) books were destroyed, and twenty others were damaged. Most are savable, and will be saved. Not that any of them are worth much, but I like them all because we had already spent much time getting rid of the ones we really didn’t need or want. It was a stupid thing to do, the water jugs I mean. They could easily have gone into the car trunk.
The results here of hurricane Alicia are impressive. Trees are broken all over town, billboards and innumerable signs are damaged and many are completely gone. Windows in the larger buildings took a beating and many are missing. The bayous are flowing deep, shingles are missing from houses, carpets and drapes are soaked and mildewing, people still talk about it everyday. The folks on Galveston Island have something to talk about because they have to rebuild everything. Here it is not nearly so bad, but as bad as it is makes you wonder at the power of those things. To have gotten this far inland and still have such winds and water is quite unsettling. While we were away during it (in Indiana) I was glad that we were, but still in a way resentful of the people who were able to be here. They were having the excitement of it, were preparing for it and thinking about it as something personal, some impending catastrophe for which they must unite against. It was nothing that they could control, nothing like the things they have complete control over every day. They construct their religion and live it to the fullest, controlling where they will go after having constructed the best way to get there. But hurricanes and tornadoes have none of that. They are called acts of God, and, after they have passed, their destruction and their chance courses are discussed in the churches and on the streets as God’s mysterious wonders worked in strange ways. But when that thing is over your head you must be wondering why God picked you for the demonstration.