Matthew: this is the story of the hurricane

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4:03. With storms like this, staring at the clock waiting for 5 p.m. to mix the first cocktail becomes as tense as waiting for the doctor to stick you with a shot.

2:48. “Long before the battle was won, [Henry] Clay began to draft the instructions for the Panama ministers. What resulted was a state paper of major significance in the history of American foreign policy” — Robert V. Remini, Henry Clay: Statesman for the Union.

2:14. I don’t smoke in daylight anymore unless I’ve had three martinis before 3 p.m. or the National Weather Service issues a tropical storm warning.

1:30. God, Antonio Banderas sure was gorgeous in 1990, wasn’t he? On the other hand Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! will not play well in 2016 to audiences no longer delighted by the scene in which a female prisoner whose tooth was knocked out engages in delightful repartee ten minutes later.

1 p.m. Baked chicken thighs and pumpkin ravioli for lunch. Times are desperate: I open a beer and drink half.

My accordion shutters came down this morning. Bottles of water in the fridge, set at the coolest temperature. I’m going to cook what’s left of Tuesday’s chicken thighs and boil ravioli; in the event of a power outage I’ve got cold cuts and bread for the evening. Fortunately, it’s going to take winds stronger than 140 mph to pick up and slam my hardcover copy of Robert Remini’s Henry Clay through my neighbor’s Chrysler. When the Great Compromiser starts boring me, I’ve got Lorrie Moore’s Like Life (thanks, Connie Ogle!) and a copy of Criterion’s reissue of Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! as a reminder that Antonio Banderas was briefly the most beautiful man in the world.

Although I’m not nervous, I understand nerves have got nothing to do with it. Eleven years ago when Hurricane Wilma cut east-northeast across Miami-Dade and Broward counties social media was a dream of Bill Gates’. Should the inevitable occur, at least I’m spared Tropical Storm Halperin blowing steam about the second Trump-Clinton debate next week.

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