Bathing our world
in its beautiful light.
Dance in the sky,
spread yourself all about.
for all to see.
after dancing with glee.
Little one, little one,
so high, so far
Don’t you know
you’re a shining star?
This is the only poem I ever wrote that I liked. I never wrote another one after this. (Thanks Mrs. Held! I appreciate that! No, really! Oh, and you ruined Les Miserables for me, too. I can’t even stand the sight of the posters.)
That had nothing to do with anything. Anyway. Here you go.
This is not fiction; it’s a blow-by-blow retelling of about four hours ago. Harrowing experience, it was! But I survived! Let me tell you the tale…
Thunder rumbles outside the window. I glare at the slats of the back door, but the storm was not impressed. “Well damn. I guess I’d better get moving before the storm gets bad.” My friends and I had already procrastinated enough as it was. I wave and than them, and left the bright, cool apartment for the oppressive heat and dark.
The sky above flashes, nearly blinding and deafening me as a few fat drops of rain splatter on my treasured hand-made card. I press it to my chest as I fumble in my purse for my keys. The flashes of lightning are near constant, illuminating the dark, heavy, low-lying clouds in the night sky. I jump in the car, thankful I’d made it before the bottom dropped out.
I triy to call my husband, but no answer. Must have fallen asleep. I’m not running that late. Maybe he’s just catching a smoke on the back porch?
I stare up at the sky. Another blinding flash of white-hot light crawled across the black sky, reaching twisted fingers over me, a plasmic creature aching to seize my dirty car and fry me.
I jerk the wheel, nearly slamming into a curb in my inattentiveness. Eyes on the wheel, stupid.
The sky never stops moving, never stops flashing and belching its anger overhead. The fat drops of rain come faster as I take the curve of the entrance ramp a little too fast in my haste to get ahead of the storm before it overtakes me.
A huge gust of wind blasts the car, nearly knocking me into a creeping semi in the left lane.
Rain inundates my poor car. The duct tape half-covering the driver’s side window doesn’t keep it all in. I take off my glasses and try to wipe the droplets off, succeeding in nearly rearending the guy in front of me as I stare down rather than out.
What the hell is wrong with me?
I put my glasses back on my face, and grasp the wheel firmly at ten and two. I lean up and stare out of the window, trying to see between wiper swipes and locate the reflective bumps on the center line, since the paint was covered by the deluge, reflecting too bright street lights instead of the faded stripes.
I slow to a crawl, not noticing the flashing blue lights behind me when a cop came up, because I was too low to see the rear view mirror.
I signal and shift to the left lane, letting the officer pass. I’m under the speed limit, so he can’t be waiting for me. Sure enough, he slides past, and then pulls off over the hill where another set of flashing blue lights indicates either a motorist in distress, an ill-timed bust, or something else entirely.
The road is invisible. Several times the car hydroplanes, just a bit, pulling me too close to the edge of the road, the guard rail and rumble strips threatening and warning me of the danger. My night blindness is getting worse. Every little car dealership’s overlit parking lot blinds me as I pass.
Nearby, a bolt of lightning strikes a telephone pole, leaving my ears ringing and my eyes blotched in negative colors. I panic and pulled into the right lane, but it clears in a few seconds. Fortunately, no one was nearby to be a victim of my momentary blindness. For future reference: Driving blind is not a good thing.
I veer around the curve of the I-75/I-16 split at a whopping forty miles an hour.
As if a curtain was pulled back, the rain clears, leaving a dark, slick road reflecting more street lights and my windshield wipers squeaking and protesting at the sudden lack of wet. I turn them down, and lean back against the damn driver’s seat. Thunder is still rumbling, lightning is still flashing, but it’s behind me, not above and ahead of me. I don’t make it far, though, before the rain catches me again, but this time the road is prepared. No more huge puddles of rain that haven’t had a chance to drain off.
It’s a little easier as I pull off of the interstate onto the sharp round curve of the exit. Every car is actually going slow for once, cautious in the downpour, instead of the usual willy-nilly oblivious driving I’m used to around here. The rain fades again, foiled by my sudden change in direction, and I can actually speed up to Pio Nono’s limit of 50 miles per hour.
I make it into the driveway as the fat drops of the front catch up to me. I seize my “shit” from the night’s activities, clutch them to my chest, and duck through the rain across the three feet from my car to my front step.
Wind chases me through the door, following by wet grasping droplets of rain catching the heels of my shoes. Triumphant, I slam the door a little too hard, and yell, “Honey, I’m home!”