I don’t care if it’s inconvenient or dangerous. I always want to live in a place with thunderstorms.
I want the clouds to remind me—as I stare up at them, dreamily imagining their shapes as puppies and lambs and human faces—that they too have an anger within them. That inside those fluffy whites lives a darkness. That within them is a precarious combination of water and electricity. That the sky has a hot temper, which may give little warning before it explodes.
Erratic flashing lights that strike down with bad aim and reckless abandon. Loud, vulgar booms and claps that wake the neighbors from a sound sleep. Any day, any moment, everything might come crashing down.
Your sunny picnic? Dampened.
Your afternoon run? Spoiled.
Your parade? Rained on.
You can’t out-plan a thunderstorm.
You sprint for cover. You wish you had an umbrella before remembering that the flimsy metal handle is a conductor. That Ben Franklin “invented” electricity the hard way. That despite the low likelihood that, in the microseconds between its journey from sky to ground, lightning will find YOU, it’s still not worth the risk. That being soaked to the bone won’t hurt you.
Your dog shakes and shivers, hiding under the table. She forgets that she’s safe, that she has survived these storms a hundred times, that she is warm and dry. The sounds, the pressure, the spastic bolts of light and energy—the intensity is all-consuming. She is consumed by a primal fear, a generational trauma that 14,000 years of domestication still can’t break.
Walls of water fall down from the sky, composed of individual droplets that explode against your car’s windshield as if loudly threatening what they’d do to you if you take one step outside that car. Torrents of rain in the streets, a sudden river where one hadn’t been just moments ago. Visibility reduced to a wet gray blanket, only interrupted by blurred tail lights and wipers waving frantically.
Resistance is futile, but that doesn’t stop you from holding the steering wheel as tight as you can. Or maybe you pull over and let it pass. But either way, you’re stuck.
Your pulse quickens, your senses heighten. You are alive, awake, alert, and filled with adrenaline, but neither fight nor flight can help you now.
Chaotic good, chaotic evil, chaotic neutral—who’s to say, really? Who among us would pass judgment, cast the first stone, and risk the retaliatory strike from a petulant sky in this fool’s game of hide-and-seek.
Ready or not, here I come!
You’re caught. Again. And this won’t be the last time.
Because no matter what you thought. No matter who you are. No matter how hard you try.
Life is sometimes inconvenient, unpredictable, and dangerous. And you are not in control.