Friday after Isaac

The spirited clicking of cicada tymbals was so loud when I opened the door this morning, and the rush of hot air that greeted me so intense, I almost shut and locked the door and decided to stay in. But I didn’t. Instead, I walked down to the gate and was rewarded for my effort by the site of does leaping across the road, two owls hunkered on a branch in the stream bed, small branches laden with green acorns strewn across the gravel road, and a fat water moccasin in the road near the gate. I hung back until the snake decided which way he was going. The gate was bowed out even further than it had been from being hit by a runaway red car several months ago. A true hurricane would probably have knocked it loose and carried it away. The little blow and heavy rains from the past three days have just warped it into a permanent u-shape.

Yesterday on my way back from an appointment in town, I got sucked into the vortex of a massive convoy of electric service bucket trucks on I-10. They were really ballin’ the jack, on their way to Mississippi and Louisiana. It was a noisy energetic net. I felt like I wasn’t even driving my car, but was being carried along at 75 miles per hour on the float of their power and urgency. I had to consciously break out of the buzzing hive to make my exit for home.

Late Tuesday night by the time I finished reading Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones, I was almost hyperventilating. We had nothing more to worry about than the inconvenience of the possibility of power going out or a tree falling across the road. But reading about the main character, Esch, a fourteen-year-old girl, and her family’s dire straights down in Bois Sauvage, Louisiana during Katrina, my mouth was dry and I sat on the edge of the bed reading late into the night until  the final chapter.

8 thoughts on “Friday after Isaac

  1. When I was pregnant for the first time, I read a book about a woman with all kinds of turmoil and anxiety surrounding the birth of her child. I questioned whether it was the best book for me to be reading at the time. But looking back, it just made my own childbirth experience that much more sharp and real. Reading about disaster in LA while disaster strikes LA? Pretty powerful stuff if you ask me.


  2. Glad you’re well — I had to laugh that you would read such a book at such a time. I would totally have done the same. People often ask me why I read such dark things, particularly when I, myself, am going through dark times. I tell them that it relaxes me and that I don’t feel so alone; I tell them that aside from something really funny, it’s the next best thing to escape.


  3. Beguiled as ever by your lush description of what’s a few steps from your door, Beth! And a wonderful choice of Randy Newman track.


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