October 14, 1998
After The Storm

I've spent the past twenty minutes sitting on a green plastic lawnchair in the middle of my dining room, watching the sunset from the window of my Tree House ... drinking tea ... listening to "Walk Away Renee," eight times in a row ... and thanking Whoever Is In Charge of Stuff that I've managed to get through another day, if only for the reward of this particular moment.

Autumn has slammed into Oregon with a vengeance this week. The leaves have only been red and gold for five days, but already they are being ripped from the trees by brutal wind-and-rainstorms that appear out of nowhere and disappear just as quickly, like vandals, leaving upended garbage cans and barking dogs in their wake.

Monday evening I came home from a long day at the knife factory and discovered that most of my CEILING was now on the FLOOR of my apartment.

This morning, another storm hit while I was standing at the bus stop. By the time I finally got to the office, clutching the skeletal remains of my umbrella, I looked (and felt) like I'd swum eighty laps in the Clackamas River.

But at moments like this, it almost seems worth it, in a way I'm not sure I can describe. The rain has stopped for a little while, for one thing, so my view of tonight's sunset is mostly unobstructed. And maybe it's my imagination, but I believe that a sky at sunset is more powerful, somehow, when it has recently survived a storm. Bruised and swollen and restored to dignity ... like eyes, after an afternoon of tears.

It almost makes the rest of the day worthwhile:
  • Shivering at the bus stop, my soaking wet dress plastered to the sides of my legs, while idiot high school children drive past at 80 mph in a 25 mph zone, honking horns and flicking cigarettes out the window.

  • The power twinkling out at work, accidentally disconnecting eighteen unhappy Knife Factory Customers as they were listening to bad piano music on Eternal *Hold,* in hopes of speaking to our one hapless overloaded Repair Technician -- all eighteen of whom, of course, IMMEDIATELY called me back and threatened to marry my firstborn if I hung up on them again before they could get their automatic knives sharpened.

  • Coming home to clean up still more of the plaster-and-rainwater mess that is my living room at the moment. (I'm hoping that if I let the TV dry out for a few days before I plug it back in, the Oregon City Fire Department can continue their cribbage game uninterrupted this time.)

  • And, of course, the ultimate annoyance at times like this: having to talk about the fucking WEATHER, over and over and over again all day long.

Yep. The sunset pretty much makes it all worthwhile.  For today, anyway. Tomorrow  --  as I voyage out into another wild and windy Oregon morning  --  is another story. Mother Nature is gonna have to come up with one HELLUVA display to make up for the broken umbrella.

(Mother Nature: "Hurricane, anyone?")

* * * SPECIAL NOTE * * * To The Lady Who Gave Me Life ... OneVoice ... "Shell Pie" ... Brucie ... Dick Clark & Ed McMahon ... Lorenzo Lamas ... New Jersey Governor Christine Whitman ... JennyXTale@hotmail.com ("Wanna see some HOT pix of HOT teens?") ... and anyone else who has attempted to send me Internet mail within the past few days ...

... no, I wasn't deliberately *blocking* you. I was helping *Someone* test his mail system a few days ago, and I forgot to restore my default mail control settings afterwards. Sorry 'bout that. Everything has been switched back and it's business as usual, folks ....



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