No longer would I be forced to rely on a flashlight to guide me through the pitch black hallways, navigating up and down three flights of darkened stairwells, as I carefully made my way to the front door of the lobby of my apartment building.
No longer would I walk nearly 25 blocks each way in search of food, supplies, a restroom, a shower, or a warm hotel lobby with Internet and phone connections.
No longer would I be forced to adopt a self-imposed curfew, acutely aware of the growing risk of being out and about on the blackened streets of Manhattan, sans streetlights and once well-lit storefront windows, after nightfall.
No longer would I beg my neighbor, alluding to possible sexual favors, for the heavy jugs of water he carried daily up many flights in dark stairwells so I could fill my toilet tank. (Hey! Don't judge! You'd do the same for a chance to flush your toilet.)
No longer would I sit huddled with my neighbors playing Scrabble by candlelight while listening to a portable radio for any news of power and life restoration.
Life would now be back to normal, or whatever passed for normal a mere 94 hours, 28 minutes, 39 seconds ago (not that anyone is counting).
After four nights and five days in the dark, while the temperatures continued to plummet, as the pungent scent of stale urine and decaying food began to slowly seep into the halls of my apartment building, we could begin the cleanup and resume our pre-Sandy lives.
When one is in survival mode, time can be your best friend or worst enemy. During my time in the dark, besides my continued sense of utter bewilderment at how bad I am at Scrabble, I pondered many pressing post-Sandy issues.
Who names superstorms, anyway? Is there a committee or do the meteorologists make a unilateral decision? Can we vote, like they do on American Idol, the next time a superstorm is brewing? Because I really don't support giving a monstrous, murderous storm a name as benign as "Sandy."
Why not "Hitler" or "Satan"? Not only are these monikers more fitting, but they also realistically reflect what may follow. Who thought the unimaginable would occur with something called "Sandy"? Maybe this contributed to my lack of preparation - as I was only stocked with a few bottles of water and one extra pack of batteries when the lights powered down.
I also realized that I can no longer ignore the growing elephant firmly planted in our midst, as Mother Nature continues PMSing while unleashing her unrelenting wrath. There is no denying that our climate is changing dramatically, and the media buzzword for Sandy - unprecedented - will soon become dated and irrelevant, as these apocalyptic storms hit with more regularity and intensity.
As night fell upon my first night in the Big Apple with power restored and I sat enveloped by my down comforter, sipping chamomile tea while watching Showtime's Homeland, my mind wandered to the streets below, bustling with life again after days of being darkened, barren and cold.
Still, I can't shake this nagging feeling of how utterly unbearable conditions remain for those forced to make choices that surely would have been my fate, as continued falling temperatures, coupled with another significant storm, force those in the dark to seek warmth and shelter wherever they can find it.
And I remain acutely aware that my fellow weary, walking-wounded Sandy survivors, many now homeless and alone, are forced now to feel the horrific conditions many endure daily. I have always subscribed to the adage that everything happens for a reason, but I am resigned to the sad reality of just how arbitrary and cruel fate can be.
For now, these post-hurricane ponderings are gradually being replaced with thoughts of tomorrow, and how I can be prepared should the unthinkable ever happen again.
As I jump on my elevator and head out the front door of my apartment building, I quickly meld into a sea of people on this crisp November morning. I stock up on disaster essentials: water, batteries, peanut butter. Next time I will be ready. And I intend to spend considerable time brushing up on my Scrabble game. Just in case.
Jill Rachel Jacobs is a New York-based writer. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.