Imminent Tornado Warning

An eerie calm before the storm. It is quiet. Campus is nearly deserted. The wind feels cool, gentle. The sky is blanketed gray. Then it rains, a torrential downpour. You rush inside because the instinct for survival is immoveable.

You sit, feeling utterly helpless, reminded that there are things you can’t control. Your mind travels to possibilities remote—thinking about the disarray, the cries, the blood, people strewn in rubble reeking of stench and fear, some alive, others half-dead; and likely—the laughs of people crowded into the basement will continue, men and women proud that it was another fluke, as if they themselves conquered destiny, somehow reversed the course of their demise by sheer levity, some sitting in contentment as they pet their restless dogs.

I sit here, agonized by the pretense of my heroism, waiting on cue to step in and save someone, preferably a damsel in distress. I sit here, just another human, just another warm body.

Bad things start well but then deteriorate. The hope quickly vanishes with one swift stroke of misfortune: all it takes is for a building to collapse with the wrenching winds of the storm and we’re dead.

That is life: it is good and bad and neither. Life is life. Shoot me for tautology.

The restlessness propagates and then attenuates, just like waves seismic and electromagnetic. We feed off of each other’s feelings just as we feed off of each other’s hopes and dreams and failures and bullshit. But then you realize that it all ends and you let go.

I am a man. I am a child. I am.

Some people can climb mountains longer than some people can run. Some people can hold their breath underwater longer than some people can sit still. Some people can hold their shit inside longer than some people can sit in the crowded basement of a library.





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