In the late spring of this year there was a storm. This is not altogether unusual, but as it is late autumn now--some might argue that it is already winter--and there was a storm tonight as well. Tonight, as then, there was hail, which is rare, and thunder and lightning, which is less so. But unlike tonight, in the late spring I was enjoying the company of a girl who, despite our differences, I rather liked--and envied, of course. She was my superior in many ways.

That night, just as tonight, the storm came on suddenly. It had been raining on and off all day, of course, but it came on suddenly. First we could hear the rain starting up again outside, softly at first but within a minute far more intense than any normal rain. And the winds howled and the lights flickered.

I did not lose power tonight, but we did that evening in the late spring. She had a large house. We had been enjoying some wine I remember very little about, and talking a great deal. I don't really remember about what, but I remember that my throat had been dry before she had poured us each a glass. There was a silence as the storm started. I was excited, but I did not know her well enough to interpret her expression.

Then, as now, I loved storms, and I assumed that perhaps she would be like me in that respect. I was going to kiss her then, with the sound of rain and hail pounding down around us. It would have been the first time. But the lights went out just then, and she got up, alarmed, and asked me for my flashlight.

And of course I gave it to her, and of course the moment had passed. I excused myself to my own home to see if I still had power. I didn't. I never found out if her power had returned before mine, but mine took a week. It was a cold week, but it seems to me as winter encroaches that most weeks are cold. I used to wonder why I remembered such days, but these days, I begin to understand.

No comments: