The Block Island Times

#TwentySomething: 'Homeless' on Block Island

By Stephanie Turaj | Jul 06, 2013

Of all the things to happen, lightning would strike my apartment.

Maybe I have done something to get some bad karma, because lately things haven’t quite been going my way.

I was coming back to my place after my grandma’s funeral, of all things, only to find a doomed living room, ceiling dripping with smoke-scented water and my brand new mattress (I was sleeping in the living room) completely ruined.

All I was looking forward to was collapsing on that mattress and having a nice, long nap.

That didn’t happen.

Instead, my phone calls began: “My apartment complex was struck by lightning and I need a place to crash.”

For now, I’m staying with one particularly kind co-worker, Margie, and her family. It works out, since Margie’s daughter, who’s my age, makes a fun roommate.

Being without an apartment has meant packing up all of my clothing and personal goods — my car has become my closet. It has meant late nights in my work office to use the Internet service. But it has also meant movie nights watching “The Devil Wears Prada” with my temporary roommate, girl talk late at night, and an excuse to go dancing instead of staying in at a place that’s not my permanent home.

I guess Block Island isn’t the worst place to be “homeless.” Because although I clearly was unlucky enough to be renting one of five apartments affected by a bolt of lightning that set fire to the building’s roof and resulted in some pretty nasty water damage, I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by kind people.

In addition to Margie and her family (I can’t thank them enough), two neighbors, unaffected by the storm, offered a couch or a spare room. Others have stopped me in the parking lot. Co-workers have offered beds, couches and storage space. And many friends off-island have messaged me on Facebook, asking if I’m OK.

Thanks, friends and Block Island neighbors — your kindness throughout the loss of my grandma and loss of my sleeping space has not gone unnoticed. At the same time I’ve been hit by some bad karma, there’s some good love going around.

#TwentySomething is the musings and thoughts of a 20-something-year-old living on Block Island. It’s a life that’s caught between being an adult and just not quite an adult yet — and filled with all sorts of adventures out & about the island.

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