Sunday, January 4, 2009

In A Paper Cup

So, I was going to do something else today, but since I was so drunk last night (and my computer shut down), I didn't get it in.
This morning (noon counts as morning, right?), I woke up from a dream about being in a town where a small volcano exploded. My brain took lots of strange things and put them together to create the reality of this experience, which ended up involving dinosaurs, antique stores, and banana cream pie milkshakes.
Natural disasters are something that almost all of us will deal with in our lifetime. Earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, tornadoes, tsunamis. They are also great elements in literature, for if it there were no tornadoes, how would Dorothy have made it to Oz?
Today, write about a natural disaster. Either write about your experience with one, or write about a fictional event from a character's first person point of view.

Looking out across the rushing water, a judgement come from on high, I held back the weeping that threatened to suffocate me. Bottlenecked at my throat like some grand crush of sorrow, the cry that had built up all day would hold for now, lest I be the first broken straw in what would surely be the beginning of the collapse of my family. I would remain stoic. For my dear Rosette. and for Emily. Like stone figures, we sat perched upon the roof and watched as God cleaned the slate once again. Reaching down with the hand of flood, He wiped away this minor abhorance. My Father believed this valley was cursed. But you cannot curse what is already damned.

My child can never unsee the the things that have happened today, and for that more than anything, I suspect the permanence of my piety. For if days like this shape us, they can also misshape us. Leave us broken. Leave us unwhole. Gazing down at Rosette, I wonder what part of her will be missing after today.

It started with rain. We awoke to flat loveless thunderclaps. Short sharp bursts that resembled the sound of magnificent boards slapping together. There was no rolling echo, just lightning making its firm declaration of intent. Through the window, the pregnant sky extended beyond the visible horizon, a thick violaceous blanket readying to smother all that lay before it. The first drops hit with weight and authority, slapping against the shingled roof like a swarm of locust. Emily rose from the bed and gathered her robe about her, lured away by the sound of Rosette stirring in the room across the hall.

I stood ground at the glass pane, the opacity of the sky growing more inpenetrable with each passing minute. Across the street, I made out the thin frail shape of Miguel Sanchez. It was the first time in ten years that I'd seen him without his Mahogany cane. He resembled nothing less than a shadow in search of a body as he tried in vain to maneuver a wheelchair across his rain slick sidewalk. Without purchase, the tires slid in haphazardly with each thrust until a slight nudge to the right forced him over and left him rutted in the muddy grass. I watched him struggle for a while, then went to the closet and dressed for the rain.

Bob Dylan & The Band - Crash On The Levee (Down In The Flood)

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