Sunday, September 05, 2004


In the storm

I decided to go out for "provisions" before things really got out of hand. It's safe enough if you drive slowly. The wind isn't high enough to be a danger at low speed, but it could easily blow a semi off the interstate if the driver were so imprudent as to be going over 40. But in town, the real reason for driving slow is the debris. All the streets and roads are completely littered by leaves and twigs, but of a sudden a larger limb looms that calls for some steering.

Almost all stores are closed. I went a few miles one way, then decided to backtrack and headed more into town. There at a major intersection was a convenience store hopping with business. They had two clerks at the registers. They knew they were going to be in for a busy night. Meanwhile, the traffic light at the intersection where the store is located is out.

I can only describe the experience of a low-level hurricane or tropical storm, for those who've never been in one, as a bit like being in a heavy snowstorm. There is a sort of infectious energy that comes from the weather. People are friendlier, saner, more patient, more understanding. There's an ozone high. (Is that where the disparaging remark comes from? "He's in the ozone"—implying that that person's ideas are so beyond the practical that we might as well get back to our jobs of making money, or at least make sure that others do.)

Of course, some people are scared. But even with the fright comes a frisson of delight.

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