Sunday, April 10, 2011

Dammit, I didn't even get a pair of ruby slippers.

But the sky did turn this cool, eerie shade of green.

I sat outside in the oppressiveness that constantly threatens rain but doesn't actually produce relief until a few fat raindrops started to come down. Then I was forced inside, because precipitation here has a strange habit of going sideways instead of downward to the earth, even if there is no wind. Unfortunately I don't have a porch, but a tiny awning over my front door only as big as my doormat, and it was quickly soaked. Too bad. I love sitting out in rain.

I went upstairs and curled up in bed under a blanket and enjoyed the rain pounding on the roof, until the power abruptly cut out. It was weird, because it was mid-afternoon and light outside. Over our heads was a black cloud with pouring rain and a weird ambient green light, whereas all around the horizon it was clear and light and cloudless. But I had gotten my camping lantern and a bunch of earthquake supplies for Christmas --- although I guess they're just regular old emergency supplies here --- so I went back downstairs for my flashlight and unearthed my lantern. By the time I had found all those batteries and then cut through the packaging, the rain had almost stopped.

I went outside for a minute and my neighbor said something to me ---- not quite sure what it was, but it might have been something about how there was more storm off to the side of us still coming along. I asked if he had power and he said "Ayyuh," which clearly meant something but I wasn't sure what. I went back inside and read by the light of my lantern, which was quite pleasant. However, I had long ago eaten all the chips and salsa in the house. Hmm, what could I have? I could eat bread and cheese, but I really only like it as grilled cheese or toast. (Yes, I am spoiled and picky. I know.)

I had earlier sent word that us postdocs should go out for drinks, so I texted one of them and asked if he had power. No, but he was going down to our bar to see if they did. We met up not long after, with me having stopped (along with most of the town, it seemed) at the Wendy's for some actual cooked food. And so I hung out and talked poetry and punk music with my friend all evening. Great weather, by the way --- moist and oppressive and almost tropical. It wasn't raining, but sometimes the air just thickened into mist around us out on the patio.

Oh, and at first while at the bar we could barely talk over the tornado sirens, which I guess run both when a tornado is coming and after when it is all clear. All I have to say is that two sets of sirens, not synchronized, about a mile away from each other, sounds really trippy and freaky.

And I got home late, but still no power. Most everybody else had it back already, but I live out in the sticks. Or the hood. Or both --- they organize things differently around here. I read more and had some water and finally went to bed, only to be awoken at 2 when all the lights came on.

Today, however, it is like the tornado storm came along and slapped some spring into the recalcitrant landscape. As if startled by the violence of the rainstorm, the trees unclenched their fists and unfurled slivers of green. Now they look as if they are covered in feathers. The trees that had been blooming are now naked and wintery, while the bare, black-branched trees that had held off on flowers have exploded into color. And all of the tulips and daffodils that were just opening have now been beaten flat. But the scrubby dandelions infesting everyone's yards are indomitable and unchanged, leaving patches of bright yellow against the scrubby green now suddenly vivid and thick. Piles of debris are everywhere, including lots of roadkill, and dead cats, out in the open. My car is plastered with twigs and leaves and pine needles (where the hell from? I have no clue) and dead bugs.

And just as I write this two geese are trying to make up for the lack of numbers in their flying v by honking furiously as they cross the sky.


Fie upon this quiet life! said...

This post is damn near poetic. Glad you enjoyed your first (?) tornado experience.

I remember when I moved to California that I was so shocked at how the rain fell. It just fell straight down. No slant to it at all. In the Midwest, rain falls on an angle. I don't know why, but the rain in California struck me as odd -- as if it were being poured from a bucket instead of falling from the sky. Every single time it rains here, I'm in awe of it. Weird, eh?

Dr. Koshary said...

Thank you. :) Bonus points for the poetic descriptions of post-tornado spring.

Earnest English said...

Oooh, yes. Beautiful description, Sis!

And Fie, you are so right. It took me a while to get used to this slantwise rain, which seems so odd to those of us who are used to that old vertical bucket rain.

anthea said...

Wow...what a description of spring arriving as a consequence of a tornado! I travelled through an area that where large quantities of huge old trees that were old and tall had been blown over and resembled fields of match sticks..I'll never for it.

Sisyphus said...

Dude, up-and-down rain is the normal, right? This whole sideways stuff is *weird.*