Wednesday, November 05, 2003
Storm Serenade 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
"In the midst of winter, I finally learned there was within me an invincible summer."
- Albert Camus (1913-1960)
Have you ever had a craving for an honest-to-goodness thunderstorm? You know, the kind where the lightning illuminates the sky for moments of blue midday brightness, and roaring peals of thunder spook paranoid car alarms for blocks around? The sort that strikes fear into the hearts of timid dogs and cheap umbrellas?

That kind of thunderstorm; the sort you generally never get in the Northern hemisphere in November - unless you have precisely the right combination of outbound unseasonable heat and incoming frigid air. Well, we got one of those last night. Hoo-ee, that was a storm.

A beautiful, brawling fight in the sky with gale-force winds that beat gouts of rain against the train doors, squeezing huge drops of water down the inside of the rubber seals.

When the doors open, you have to move away to keep from getting soaked...which just plain looks silly when you're sitting on a subway car. Chicago streets in a storm are something to see, mercury lights white and signals red, yellow and green; all with streaking glowing tails shimmering to the labored drains.

I was quite grateful for my English "killer" umbrella last night. Walking home from the Red Line platform, your bumbershoot carves a clear zone about you, just enough to see hoods pulled over heads and hunched-over unprepared pedestrians taking long rushed steps over puddles, missing and splashing in the dark with soggy curses.

Last night's deluge washed away weeks of accumulated grime and dirt; cleansing the air of bus exhaust and barbecue smoke, and the sidewalks and alleys of late summer's stepped-in dog turds, spilled sodas and hawked loogies. It was about time Chicago took a shower. I walked more slowly than usual to my front door, savoring the change.

Then, I just drew a steaming tub in the dark bathroom, lit a fat red candle and listened to the rain.

(afterthought) I really love the Anagram Server. Where else could you discover that when you rearrange the letters in "lit a fat red candle," you get "farted Latin decal"?