It’s not the quiet that I long for.
A storm blew through this afternoon. I saw the wind kick up and rain start to fall a little bit sideways, and I remembered that I left the chairs outside. I ran out of the house in my bare feet to get them, and the wind nearly blew me over. So I stopped running, and I walked instead.
The storm passed more quickly than I’d hoped.
What I long for is a powerful storm with thunder so loud that I feel it. I want the lightening to threaten me and the wind to blow through me. I want the cold rain to drench me.
I feel like I’ve told this…after a while a person runs out of stories to tell.
I worked in a high-rise building my first year out of graduate school. One of the walls in the boss’s office was glass, a massive window that looked out over the less exciting end of Austin. He called me into his office one day, shut the door, and then walked over to the window. He was holding a coffee cup and silently watched a storm rage outside. The scene was beautiful. Terrifying and turbulent. We looked out of the window together, neither of us saying a word. Until I did. I told him how much I loved storms. He said he knew, and that he brought me in his office so that I could watch it through that big window up in the sky. He liked them, too. I guess he wanted to share it with someone who would appreciate the moment as much as he did.
We had the carpets cleaned one winter, this last winter or the one before, probably not recent enough, and we turned the ceiling fans on high and put another fan or two in the bedroom to help the carpet dry. The room was almost empty, with the bed and maybe something else being the only things in there except for me and a cat. The room was freezing with the wind blowing in every direction, sending my hair up like a water spout, and I sat on the bed and typed. The lights were brighter than they are now, probably all the bulbs were working then, and the room took on a bright yellow hue, though white stands out in my mind—the color of the cold. That’s the last time I remember being in something strong enough to blot out the noise in me or carry it away. With the exception of falling through the sky, I mean. But I haven’t done that in a while.
There’s a storm not too far from here. I could drive to it, but I have too much rum in me.
My oldest daughter took a job at a hospital. Her first day on the job was yesterday, and an old man died while she was with him. She was the last person to speak with him. She called me and said she wasn’t cut out for the job, but if anyone was born to be a nurse, it’s her. She’ll look back on that experience someday and realize what a gift it was that she was with him during his last breath. Aside from giving birth to a child, I can’t imagine a more profound moment. And had she not been there, he would have died alone. I would have liked to have been there for my grandmother, though she wouldn’t have known I was there.
Edgar Allan Poe was her favorite poet. I read his poetry to her while she lay in a near comatose state, with days to live. She responded vocally, though not verbally, when I read the Raven. It sounds a little morbid that I would read that poem to her at that moment, but it was one of her favorite poems, if not her favorite. She was theatrical when she recited poetry, and she loved reciting that one. I think, when she heard me read it, she wanted to recite it. I wasn’t with her when she died a couple days later, but those couple of days that I spent alone with her, reading poetry, were precious.
My mind has been focused on life and death quite a bit, huh?
I need to lay off the rum.
I might oughta pack.