sturm und drang

We were driving across the country and well into the middle of nowhere, somewhere in Wyoming I think, when I was finally too tired to continue, and certainly too tired to notice that the sky had gone dark with storm clouds. "All right, go ahead and sleep," she said. "I'll wake you up if there's a tornado or something."

I smiled, because I thought it was a joke, because this was the sort of joke she made. I slept--not easily, because we were traveling, but I slept, curled up in the back, trying to find a position that wasn't too uncomfortable. Then she touched my knee and said "hey, wake up, there's a tornado." At first I just laughed and said, "what?" as if she was joking. Then I realized she'd parked the car. I sat up.

It was huge and close and terrifying, and there wasn't much we could do but sit and hope that it passed. I got out my camera and snapped a few pictures. After a long moment of silence she started fiddling with the radio, trying to find something. Eventually she found a station that had a man talking about it in that calm-but-serious-and-concerned newscaster's voice, and that was all we could hear for a while.

We were miles from anything that counted as civilization, though we didn't think about that until much later. It could have destroyed cities. It certainly could have destroyed us. But my instinct wasn't to flee. We sat and watched it until it broke up. After a while she turned the radio off and we watched the stormclouds in silence.

Then one of us said something like "that was beautiful," and she started the car and we continued driving. It wasn't until we'd left Wyoming far behind that either of us spoke again.


Sara said...

I like it. Deep. Check out my blog sometime.

Sez said...

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