Before The Storm

Library of Congress

Before the storm is a moment of perfection. There is an art to the building of a moment of anticipation, and the storm knows it. If showmanship is a craft, then the storm has it. After the storm will be different. After the storm will be nothing. But even the time during the storm cannot compare to the moment before the storm.

Before the storm, the sky goes quiet, because the storm knows that it must clear away all distractions before it arrives, in order to make the maximum entrance. The storm knows. It knows and knows. And so before the storm, what little wind there was goes quiet. Now, there is no wind. The sky acquires a greenish hue, green for “go.”

Now, quite suddenly, there is a lot of wind.

Here, in our small town beyond the big city, there is a lot of chatter. In the bar, the stations turn from the game to the Weather Channel. Everyone starts talking about the weather: the impending storm that we lie in the path of. And weather is a thing to talk about! What a thing the weather is to talk about! When we remember to talk about it, that is. Though we think that we think about the weather, mostly we do not. The weather, the elements, this earth that we live on, is like a co-dependent spouse. We treat him, her, them with little regard. We ignore the weather. It sits there, silent and sulky, smoking a cigarette in the corner.

But then the weather grows angry, as before a big storm like this one. Such anger all of a sudden! Where did all this emotion come from! It must be bad, holding things back like this all.

The storm hits. Windows rattle, thunder booms, etc.

As the storm rages, we see that we have been living in a house of cards. The world is changeable, mutable — and we never knew or, or knew it and then forgot it. Look at that lightning! Look at those swift gray rolling clouds! How could we have forgotten? See those trees sway! Will the branches fall off, do you think?

But still, all of this is not as interesting as the moment before the storm. When we were all banded together, in anticipation of the storm.

After the storm is different. After the storm, with the fallen branches, and the night-crawlers wriggling in the yard. After the storm is like living in the pluperfect tense: It had been storming, but now it is gone.

After the storm, it is — let’s face it — as though the earth has been fucked by the sky. A one-day-stand, a one-night-stand. And there is regret. Disdain. Walking around after the storm, surveying what has happened, it is like embarking on a walk of shame.

After all, we are a part of the earth, not a part of the sky, and we have been fucked by the sky. And now the storm has pulled out and driven away and left us and would not even stay for breakfast. And so, after the storm, you look at the earth around you, and you think: “Was it all for this?” All of that lust and passion and excitement, concentrated on a single object. And now it’s gone. You stare at the world around you and you wonder to yourself, “Was it all for this?”  Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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