It was dark and cold that night. A storm was predicted to hit later in the evening, one the reports say would break rainfall records and shake houses to their core. Except in the young night that I left my home, there was only but a misty wind and thick fog. There was no moon, only the silent shrieks of danger of what was yet to come. There was no logical reason why I left that night, but when harmless objects are being thrown like daggers and vicious words are shouted as a lion roars to its predators, all logic seems to be fade, leaving nothing but naked emotion and shear helplessness. I didn’t think about the storm whose warnings surrounded us all week and I definitely didn’t think of the stupidity of walking at night with dark clothes on. Dark clothes. Jeans, a black zipper-up sweatshirt and an ipod to help me escape the terrors of what I saw in my home that night, and all the dreadful ones before. But I didn’t care, oh man, how I wish I did. Except I get it, because anything is better than watching the two people who gave you life, the two people who are supposed to love and care about you, nearly drunkenly kill each other over a lousy bank account, and a couple of late nights at the “office.” Pshh, yeah right. As I was walking away from my home, my mind became a wrought iron gate, completely closed off, and oblivious to the world around me. Sure I was awake and functional, but my mind and body weren’t together as one, like two separate people, with only a constant heartbeat to keep them together. In my state of oblivion, I escaped tragedy nearly twice by dodging cars that couldn’t see me in my blackened apparel. Stupid me. God damn, that should’ve been enough. Two damn cars and I kept walking! That should’ve been enough. Minutes later I came to the town, finding the only lights to be of street lamps, and the neon sign of the opened 24 hours a day fast food restaurant. Other than that, nothing. No cars, no people, not even your occasional group of “bad boys” lurking the streets, asking for trouble. It was a ghost town. I find it amazing how a couple of weather reports can desolate an entire town, that you’d think the apocalypse was coming. Yet it was so hauntingly peaceful, and so eerily joyous that I ignored that distance sounds of an atmospheric stampede, and walked on into the heavy darkness. It pulled me in so easily, I was completely mesmerized like a child at a circus. I didn’t have a thought, a care, no limits whatsoever. I was on top of this disastrous and godforsaken world. But not for long I was, because just as I started to forget the pain of living in a dysfunctional and violent home, a new fear started to arise, one that hit harder than daggers, and shouted louder than lions. The first thing I felt was a small, cool droplet on the tip of my nose. I paused, looked up, and then suddenly felt another, and after, I felt hundreds more. Still in a hypnotized trance I didn’t mind this downpour at first, that was until the first mighty clap of thunder came, and ripped open the sky like tearing a piece of paper. However rain is just water, and thunder is just sound, the real enemy was yet to come. In an act of stupidity and adrenaline, I jumped on top of an abandoned car, threw back my fists back in the air and screamed into the black, liquid sky with every last shred of sanity I had in me. And then I saw it. In a matter of milliseconds the world turned from the color of light behind a blind man’s eyes, to the sight of a thousand suns, shining simultaneously onto Earth. At this sight I ran, faster than Barry Allen in a race against Wally West, and more focused than a soldier aiming his gun at enemy, ready to fire his last bullet. I could feel the storm chasing me, and with each step I took I knew that storm was one away from tracking me down, pulling me off my feet, and dragging me into its clutches. And of all things, the only thing I could think of at the time was why I didn’t stay the hell at home. Huh, I’ll tell you why! Only yards a head of me I watched as a twenty foot tall street lamp fell into a telephone wire, tearing it apart, and starting an electrical fire that was bound to reach me. Of course, it didn’t. Otherwise how would I be able to write a recollection of that night if my entire body was scorched and fried like an egg on the sidewalk? Hell, from that moment on everything became a blur. If I can remember right, the next thing I did was take the side street up the block and whip my way into the those long, dark alleys your mommy tells you to stay away from. Yeah, that’s it, I stayed there that night because I remember feeling the cold, wet concrete beneath my body, shielding me from the storm. That night, huh, I never felt as alone and lost as I did that night. And it wasn’t so much from the storm either. It was knowing that even if I had stayed home, things would not have been much better, and lightning still would have hit and fires still would have been started, just in different forms. I didn’t learn any lessons from that night, no safety lessons, no “what to do if this happens” advice. Pretty much all I can say is that life is out to get you no matter which way you turn, and the only thing you can do to make it better for yourself is check the weather for the next time you go out.
June 14, 2011