The cat scattered, but the fan remained on
And then wound down to not
For good measure
After an excruciating week of playing Will She/Won’t She, Hurricane Irma reached out her powerful arm, flicked out the lights, and announced her arrival. Only minutes before, she’d gussied up into her 4-Star dress and let us know she was ready to party.
But I was asleep. It was 4 AM.
After the cat calmed down, and the roomies checked on me, I dug deeper into my borrowed king-sized bed fit for a queen and listened to the rain dripping and hard-driving against the aluminum storm shutters. I had commented on day 3 of our self-imposed quarantine that I wished they made clear storm shutters, so that I would feel safer – in the same way I feel in complete control of the plane when the shade is up for take-off.
I had been awaiting Irma’s arrival, muscles tensed, and teeth clenched, as she rollicked and bounced the houses off the Caribbean Islands. I thought she had worn herself out, but she was just taking a disco nap, so she could murderously rage her way through town.
Officially without lights or air conditioning, I whispered a prayer that my body would follow my sleepy brain’s longing for rest and not writing. Instead, my haze took me to the raging Texas rainstorm I weathered years before with my then- stepson and husband. The plink on the shutters sounded like the tic-tap on the tin roof of our hotel. I nodded in and out, grin on my face, wishing the neighbors would power the house I was in, too.
The neighbors’ generators whirred to life, and diesel exhaust perfumed the musty air. Irma was busy gyrating, sweating, spinning around with her hot, spittle breath, in a way that said she intended to party for a just a little while, and did we have a lampshade she could borrow.
As quickly as she came, she faded to memory, my body went slack, and I was able to
the air from my joints and relax.
For good measure.