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Location: Midwest, United States

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Tornado Warning!


I had supped my supper. A bowl of Campbell’s finest “Italian Wedding Feast” soup...a rather pleasant concoction of barley and beef laced with sprigs of spinach. I had splurged on a bottle of wine...
a modest (make that cheap) cabernet. I was sated, satisfied, as I eased into my comfy chair to watch the evening news.

The screen went dark. I heard the raucous, staticky “beep...beep...
beep
” presaging an urgent pronouncement from the National Weather Service. A tornado had been spotted in Kankakee County (just a few short miles from my domicile)! Seek shelter immediately, the pixels exclaimed!

I rose and went to the open window. The sky to the southwest was dark and ominous. My little community, however, was bathed in a saffron glow. Birds were atwitter, but the trees waited...simply waited...in silence. The air was scented of blossoms.

I went to my balcony. Lit a cigarette. The smoke curled lazily about my fingers and lips. All was quiet, hushed and reverent. I thought about my little home, this matchstick, ticky-tacky box protruding from the prairie. Where shall I go? I have no cellar, no shelter.

And so I stood and enjoyed what I had hoped would be my last cigarette. I imagined the thrill of the cyclone, the rush of the wind. Oh, how I wished that I would be swept from my feet and hurtled high into space, tumbling heels over head, the way I had tumbled in love for sake of a sunflower...(with similar consequences). I prayed to be transported, as lightning flashed and thunder rumbled...(in the distance). I yearned to fill my lungs with dust and fury, to soar to the heavens, traversing the fields, the forests and marshes, and far over the dark cold waters of the Great Lake we call Michigan. If I am to breathe my last (and I most certainly, eventually, must), let me breathe the passion of a tornado. Let me swoop and soar and twirl above this beautiful earth. I yearn to fly...if only for a minute, if only by the grace of disaster. Then let me fall, farther than I have ever fallen, deeper than I’ve ever dived into unforgiving waters. Let my last breath be the sweet loam, the sound and fury, and the watery deep. Let me revel...for just a moment...in the mystery and the majesty...as I fade from awareness...

I stood on my balcony, cigarette smoke curling lazily about my fingers and lips. The dark clouds to the south ambled their way east to destinations, devastations unknown.

I stood there and felt...profound disappointment.

* * *

10 Comments:

Blogger paisley said...

jonas!!! that kicked ass!!!! i loved it... i live on the san andreas fault line,, well 2.5 miles off it as the crow flies,,, but i always think,, wouldn't it be something to just fall in and get this whole thing over with... who could blame me for that ......

i love d this,, real or fantasy,, it struck a real chord...

Wed Jun 04, 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger Cheesy said...

Man oh man I do hope the weather there straightens the hell out.. I have to land there!!! lol

Cool story dear... very visual!

Wed Jun 04, 10:36:00 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

I know what you mean Jonas. Some part of me wishes we would destroy the habitability of this planet. We could never destroy it, just destroy our ability to survive.

Then, in a few million years, some other creature will evolve and reign supreme. I just hope the creature doesn't attain consciousness like we have. Because with that, comes greed, hate, pride, anger, prejudice, etc. Lucky for us, other animals are unable to manifest those flaws. Who knows, maybe the Venus Flytrap will rule this insignificant rock the way the dinosaurs did before us. They will probably do a better job of it than we have.

Thu Jun 05, 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger Brenda Starr said...

To me, this isn't a "death" wish so much as a desire to be taken over by something stronger, something in nature that we are inherently drawn to...to just let go.

Am I right in my interpretation? Not that it matters; it was an intoxicating post.

Fri Jun 06, 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger Donn said...

Very interesting.

I sense a desire to be in contact with a powerful outside natural force..something bigger than us... and our self sastisfying quasi dominion over nature (small n) that we continuously deceive ourselves with.

We are a heartbeat away from being slammed by a comet that would end it all in the twinkling of an eye.
We need to have a lot more respect for the natural world..because we have done everything 'humanly' possible to pretend that we are above it all.

Fri Jun 06, 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

You're not in Kansas anymore Jonas:)

Fri Jun 06, 08:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Roads said...

Pure Hemingway. And fortunately, you've lived to write some more.

Sat Jun 07, 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger rebecca said...

i don't think i've ever read the yearning to be one with a tornado in such extraordinary and beautiful prose. this was sublime; it was perfection, my friend....ah, but to tap into your brain and be able to write like this for just one day!

jonas, you write so beautifully and have a poet's heart ....and i, like the others, am happy you were not carried away to oz. brenda said it best...it was intoxicating.

Sat Jun 07, 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Scott from Oregon said...

It's alright. The smokes 'll eventually kill ya...

Sun Jun 08, 01:10:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Thank you, Ms. Paisley. The entry was a recap of my actual thoughts as I stood for a few minutes on my balcony. It would come as no surprise to my oldest friends who've noted, more than twice, that they expect me to shed my mortal coil in an extravagant fashion (I am the son of thespians, after all...)

Happy trails, Ms. Cheese! I do believe the skies have grown quiet out of respect for your holiday sojourn.

Jay, my friend, you're too young to be so cynical. While I grieve in the face of injustice and destruction, I'm still thrilled by the beauty and the angels lurking...EVERYWHERE.

You may just be right, Brenda (and, hey, it's a pleasure to have you drop by!). I've always been keenly aware of the numinous.

Yes, Donn, it's quite useful to remember our own insignificance...and greatness.

Ah, Deb, I spend a bit too much time in Kansas. Far more than is healthy...

Thanks, Roads. Hemingway? Methinks, no. There's no great opus lurking inside of me...just random thoughts and observations. But, heck! You made me blush!

Thank you, Rebecca, for such kind praise. Thank you.

Yer, right, Scott. Then again, having seen the ravages of Alzheimer's savage my family, I've no hankering for a long life...

Tue Jun 10, 10:18:00 AM  

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