Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Sturm und Drang

Last night, I awakened to a howling so insistent my house might have been clutched in the jaws of death itself. The windows seized fitfully in their casings; wind-driven rain lashed the glass; I feared that the brittle period lights would burst inward in a million glistening gems ahead of the pursuing gusts.

The house groaned on its foundations. A flash of white tattooed my room into memory just before its recession took the room away, and the orange sodium lamp that buzzes outside the far end of my bedroom blinked out. My room had never been so dark.

Reluctantly, I roused myself, shook off the thought that it might be a dream (oddly, I had been dreaming about some scenario involving cheese-shopping, no storms in the offing), and exited the bed toward the window. My feet came to rest gingerly in a patina of wet with a suggestion of a splash; as I lay, near-catatonic and fetal, watching the water pelt the window it had been spraying through the screen to cover the floor.

Checking the roof's integrity was my main priority, but first I might close the windows, and so I did, two of them, leaving the third, with a dripping exhaust fan in it, undisturbed. Surely in 125 years the house had handled its share of water, and bringing the fan in itself promised to be a wet endeavor.

I was leery of the bathroom, near the entry to which I have detected the entry of my one significant breach. It was dry, which was encouraging, although the wind appeared to be blowing favorably, whipping the rainfall over the suspect eave where my home's weakest surface moulders. Thankfully, there was no moisture, no evidence of incursion.

By the time I returned to the room the storm had diminished. I withdrew a towel from the wardrobe and wiped down the sills and floors around the formerly open windows, simple operations I would have neglected in my former apartment. Drying my feet, I finally returned to bed. The alarm clock still was lit and I dozed fitfully.

I used to enjoy thunderstorms.

This morning, I woke at 9:30 facing a blinking clock under a sky so blindingly blue Summer might have wept in bereavement, its palette of hazes in uniform blues and grays no match for Autumn's superior selection of colors and techniques, the sharp angles, brilliant gradients, and stunningly powerful colors of its oils wetly shining.

After calling work to alert them to my tardiness, I pondered briefly: there was no time to bike in; I would have to drive.

A half-hour later, leaving the house, I squinted instinctively against the light, the sky wind-tossed and highlighted with plump clouds in whites and grays of innumerable variation, the pavement wet only in patches and papered with leaves felled prematurely.

The Wind lingered, however, teasing the folds of my shirt, twisting my hair into unlikely formations, whispering that it wished I had opted to ride anyway, that we would have played all the way to work, she and I.

Just shy of my car I turned to face her and smiled with an upcast and proud chin. "How about tomorrow?" I asked.

She sighed, and said that would be just fine.


Anonymous May said...

I enjoyed this post so much.
You made me feel a sensation that runs from the mind down to the body, a feeling of pure happiness generated by simple natural events, a feeling that brings peace and fulfilment.

I am greedy for more posts like this one. I am grateful for what I have found in this blog. I am touched by what a talented writer can create with words.

3:02 PM  

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