I should have known better than to go out with the sky looking like it did, all gray and skuzzy, threatening or promising a downpour at any minute. I don’t like driving in any weather, much less in a deluge, but I hadn’t eaten all day and I figured I might as well go get dinner before the storm hit.

I’m late a lot, I should mention.

The first grumble of thunder rolled down from the sky just as I pulled in to the parking lot. By the time I’d gotten what I needed and ran, the rain had started to come down like fucking meteors. I made the, perhaps unwise, decision to wait in my car until the clouds closed back up again, but the wind and the rain, together, just kept coming harder and I figured I’d sit there forever, if I didn’t hurry up and just go.

If deciding to hang out in my car while the little rainstorm around me worked itself to a tempest wasn’t the smartest thing I could’ve done, leaving at just that moment might just qualify for the title. The wipers on my piddly little Taurus could barely keep up with the violet onslaught and I’m surprised I didn’t wreak. I spent the whole time gripping the wheel like I thought it wanted to escape. Afraid that I would run headlong into someone equally blinded by the storm, I clung to the roadside, occasionally slipping my passenger-side wheels into the already-flooded gutters, sending up great gouts of rainwater.

I got home in one piece, if only just, and parked my car as the far end of the lot. I opened the door for maybe two seconds before I had to slam it closed, again. The rain had started coming down, if anything, harder than before. The lot had flooded just enough that I dreaded walking through it so I again decided to wait it out and see if conditions improved.

I didn’t hear the tornado sirens right away, in part because they don’t have the same rising and falling cadence as the ones I’m used to at home. In fact, they sounded a lot like the howling wind that accompanied this storm. When my nerve-wracked brain finally put two and two together, I leapt out the car so fast I’m surprised I didn’t sprain something. Soaked to the knee, I ran to the nearest building, until the sirens stopped blaring.

I needn’t have worried-the tornado would have hit another part of town, if indeed it had hit at all. I’m hearing now that no one actually spotted a funnel cloud. That’s comforting, certainly, if a great deal less exciting.



August 2010

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