It had been raining for almost 24hrs and by dinner time the wind had picked up. I had a planter blow off the front porch and stepped outside to retrieve it – only then did I realize how hard it was raining. My pants were soaked through in less than a minute and my wellies were now filled with water. It was time I check the weather service website; I was aware that rain was called for but clearly was not expecting this type of weather in October.
I got naked inside the front door so I did not bring water throughout the house when I heard the wood stove pipe let out a groaning rattle. “Fanfuckingtastic” I said looking over at the wood stove “I am not going back out there to chase you down, if you fly away so be it” yes I talk to inanimate objects around the house. I dried myself off, got into some dry clothes and sat down to peek at the weather.
Oh sure more rain was called for but there were also tornado warnings. Now I am going to explain something and you will just have to believe me; I don’t scare easily. I have been shot at, stabbed, been in too many physical altercations to count, eaten things that no one in the West ever would, I am educated, a polyglot and well-traveled so I tend to confront what scares me head on. Clowns do scare me and can render me into tears but that is really about it. My fears are more politically based.
Until moving here I have never had to deal with Tornadoes, weather does not scare me; I have been hit by lightning twice and I will still sit outside to watch a light show. Weather in Indiana is something I feel I needed to be prepared for – hence the house with wood heating and lots of candles. When you travel about the world and immerse yourself with how other people live you realize how much waste we carry in our own lives, most of the things we have do not make our lives better it makes us lazy and dependent.
Anyhow this weather is not a big deal because a part of my personal qualities is adaptation. My husband ‘hates’ weather and I can understand that and do not mock him for that fear. He is likely to take cover and I am usually sitting reading by candle light. Well until last night that is.
I just put dinner on the stove and was vacuuming when the power went out which sometimes happens around here. I lit my candles and oil lamp and decided that it would be a good time to start my sketch. I was sitting on the couch quite comfortably, picking at pretzels since my food was uncooked, and looking around thinking this is a great example of how it is always like Halloween around here. Then I had vivid flash back of my dream the night before: In my dream I was caught without shoes as a tornado came in. My ass hole shut tight and I blew out the lamps and candles save one.
You bet your ass I got up and put on shoes and as if the timing was planned a low rumble came from the distance, it sounded like thunder but thunder does not last this long – it was rolling at a steady increasing pace towards the house. I opened the front door and looked south where I can usually see some light on the horizon but even in the dark of night I could see the clouds were black and hanging low.
I grabbed the weasel (we have a ferret) and put him in the bathtub and closed the doors. I took my candle, put a lamp in my pocket, put on a sweater and went to sit in by the closet that for all reasoning is going to be the safest place for me to be – not because I want to die surrounded by my shoes. I had to laugh a little because my husband would find it funny to see me taking cover for a change and I was feeling a little silly for being this concerned. “Why does this shit always happen at night” and it is true, the most devastating tornadoes happen at night when no one gets advance notice. I then realized that I had no weather radio, I had gifted one to my father in law but forgot to get myself one: that goes on the top of my shopping list tomorrow, if I live.
I thought ‘fuck this I am not going out without a fight’ if they find me under some rubble it is going to be with a smile on my face. I got out my old GameBoy (coincidence that I had charged it last week after a year of not using it) Ha! I cannot punch weather in the face but I can kill some shit on a mini screen. Couldn’t play Xbox if I had one… suck on that Microsoft!
For some reason when I went to retrieve the GameBoy I also brought in my video camera, it was not that I needed photographic evidence of the destruction of some place I call home but there has always been a question of what to do should something happen to me: cremation and send some of my ashes back to Canada, I cannot not be in Canada even if I am ash. This behaviour is from having been in third world shit holes because sometimes you do the math and realize that the numbers are no longer in your favour – so how many of these tornado type warnings can I survive before I don’t?
The house heaved, as if it sucked in its sides in and then puffed out all the air at once, something you see in a cartoon – yeah it was that serious – the candle almost went out. It was no longer windy it was just a wall of force but I played on, swearing and cursing away at my video game. My last pilot died and I yelled out “Avenge me!” to the video camera thinking at least one of my nieces would get the message and do right by me.
Then it was gone.
It took about four hours for the power to come back on and of course that meant I had a ton of messages from my husband waiting for me on messenger: I just saw the cars in the parking lot move! Make sure to get in the crawl space! Blah blah blah. But I did give him the satisfaction of knowing I hid for a change. I read a few blogs to bring on the calm after the storm and mentioned to someone that ‘had I not had that dream about tornadoes I wonder if I would have put on shoes and hid in the closet’
Never a dull moment around the Chateau, certainly not the excitement people would want or are used too. A long time ago I resolved myself to just be me, if something had happened to me at any given time in my life the loved ones that would come to clean out my house would have a lot to talk about: the gag with dildo at the opposite end has got to make them laugh as much as it does me!
My family and friends are ‘aware’ it is not about the dirty details and if you know me nothing would surprise you. The under the bed restraint system would get a head shake and eye roll from my family to be sure but I just don’t want to be found dead in them – no Darwin Award for me please – GameBoy clutched in hand with a kick ass high score is more like it.