Wednesday, May 17, 2006

the storm.

the hail starts to come down moments after the train lurches away from the station. i watch the pellets fly diagonally past my line of vision, clear and clean against the blurred cityscape, and my boss says "this is some shitty weather." i nod in agreement, and we barrel north toward our separate destinations.

when i step off the train fifteen minutes later, i am hit not with hail but the remnants of rain, falling in sweeping arcs from the station overhang. i bend my head toward the ground and make for the stairwell, watching the fat droplets soak into my new linen pants, feeling the cold seep through to my skin. the station offers only a brief respite, and i move forward through the turnstile and onto the street, hit with a blast of wind off the lake that blows my jacket out around me like a cape. i grab at the jacket with one hand and for my umbrella with the other - i snap it open against the gusts. the umbrella protests mightily, curving its edges back towards me as if to swallow my head. i hold it in front of me like a shield, and keep my eyes on the pavement two feet in front of me.

this tactic works for half a block. the winds shift - as winds are wont to do - and turn my umbrella inside out. i shake it in vain for a moment or two, trying to navigate the street and re-construct the umbrella, but it doesn't take long for me to give up. i'm tired. i'm frustrated. i'm chilled, and alone, and just trying to get home. so i shut the umbrella with a decisive pop and snap, and let the rain do what it will. i cut across belmont, then halsted, then duck onto my little tree-lined street. i am almost there.

a rush of wind from behind me lifts my loose hair in a whirl, blowing it into my eyes and around my face like a cloud. i brush it back as best i can and look around as i walk, watching the leaves on the trees move in big, twisting waves. i see the sky through the tree-tops, gray-green and angry. i see the rainwater pooling in huge puddles, formed in a rush and with nowhere yet to go. i see all of this and it makes the blood in my hands tingle, it makes the wet skin of my bare calves crawl. in this moment, i see myself - bag in hand, umbrella abandoned, striding purposefully through the storm.

i am so close.

5 comments:

Toast said...

That was kinda awesome. :-)

Roni said...

and here I was going to blog about how cool and scary it was to be driving in that storm. You totally rawk.

Cinnamon said...

And this is why you want to be a writer. I got it before, but now I really get it.

dadcat said...

a damn near "perfect storm"
write...on...

nubian said...

ahhh chicago
gotta love it