Tuesday, May 7, 2013


At 6, I saw The Wizard of Oz at the drive-in, and even though I was in our family car with my family among many other families like ours, I willingly suspended my disbelief. (Or unwillingly since I was too young to appreciate make-believe.) Ever since then, I have been afraid of tornadoes, weather's whirling dervishes of the demonic kind.

When I left graduate school in Denver, I drove across Kansas lickety-split, the hood of my car rattling all the way, despite the bungee cords stretched across the car's width. Convinced I would be uprooted by a twister and planted somewhere else, I got myself somewhere else as fast as possible.

The April 27, 2011 tornadoes that ripped their way up through Alabama into Tennessee sent me to my under-the-stairs closet, with a beer, my laptop, and a Netflix. I drank the beer, but kept the Netflix closed in its package. I stayed glued to the weather, watching the rotating monsters spinning closer and closer and closer, the sky turning blacker and the trees outside the kitchen door bending and creaking.

A spider web on a wet morning, whirling round an-off-center eye, looking like a cloud of spun sugar: a storm of horrors, imagined and real.


No comments: