Passing Storm

The storm passing through is one that would make you readily believe that you personally and all by yourself have gone and pissed God off. Lightning pierces the eyes a mere second before thunder shakes the ground and the soul. It’s blinding, it’s loud, and it’s here. The ferocious chimera of heat, air, water, and electricity is on top of us. It is mighty. And it is angry.

Way to go, asshole.

We humans are nothing if not a pack of fools and cowards and turds, eager to save our own shameful skins from those whom we do not know or like or draw direct benefit. We would rather traffic in hurt and loss of life than do the hard work of overcoming our fears, looking into the eyes or our neighbors, and saying, “Please. Let me know you fully. Here is all of myself. We can, and should, be family.”

I can feel the thunder pound my heart. The rain is falling harder and faster; the light flashes with greater brilliance and frequency. Sure, I’m in the recessed area of the porch, but I’m still not entirely certain it’s entirely safe to sit out here, watching the weather’s violence. But I’m out here anyway, as angry and sad and confused as ever. The wind is wilder now, and the citronella candle’s been blown out. Mists reach my feet even way back here, and I sit, and I think, “My God.” Just that. Nothing else. Just, “My God,” because what else am I supposed to say? If not God, then to whom am I supposed to call out? Tell me. Someone. Anyone. As the earth and sky rage around me, what am I supposed to do with my voice?

Multiple sirens compete with the thunder barreling through, and a skunk must have burst in fear nearby because I can smell its stench and little else. Though it’d softened moments ago, the rain is fierce again, like someone trying to wash away blood before anyone else notices it was there. Everything that’s not soaked is still charged by the storm. Still touched. Still run through by sound and light. Still at the world’s mercy.

I could go inside, enjoy peace and quiet and air conditioning. But I don’t. The storm is too real and present, and I fear that if I don’t feel it, I won’t know it, and if I don’t know it, then I can’t… what? Act? Speak? Care? Maybe all of those, and tonight is one during which I have a desperate need to do them because otherwise I’ll feel disgusting and cruel and fake.

The thunder cracks less and less, and the lightning no longer blinds. The rain has slowed, and this time, I doubt it has the will to pick up again. A tiny frog has appeared out from under my chair and is hopping toward the grass. It’s as if the little guy’s life hinges on whether or not he reaches the storm-soaked mud and patches of green that haven’t been cut lately. Maybe it does.

I’m back inside. It wasn’t the storm’s ferocity or my overwhelmed senses’ pleas for mercy or even my bed’s lure of a zen-like sleep; it was the mosquitos. They’re small, but they’re such… well, pricks. Their millions of bites make up for their minute size, so I caved. I’m done with my bizarre, outdoor self-flagellation-through-weather-metaphor, so I come in and lock the door, knowing I’m a sheltered fraud. I want to crawl under my blankets.

I lie down, only to see a very pissed cat staring at me. “Where were you when everything was Very, Very Unacceptably Loud,” I imagine her saying. “What was so important that you couldn’t be in here, protecting me from the Very, Very Unacceptably Loud Thing,” she wants to know.

“Bitch.”

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