Monday, August 27, 2012

Waiting for a storm

Right now we're just waiting for a storm, to see what it will do.  It's eerie.  There's the god's eye view provided by satellites, but this form of 'knowledge' is hardly commensurate with life on the ground.

The planes overhead seem louder than normal, today; maybe one of them is a NOAA Hurricane Hunter.

I can't decide if that name—Hurricane Hunter—is comical or heroic, an absurd misnomer or an admirable attempt at something more primitive within our techno-media maelstrom.

Beyond the planes and helicopters chopping above, there's a different kind of buzz outside: the buzz of people stocking up at our neighborhood market, and other people frantically loading their cars in order to evacuate.  Some cars drive down our skinny street startlingly fast—panic in action.  Other people gab and laugh and stroll down the street with cases of Abita and Miller High Life on their shoulders.  We've got our bags packed and the house all tied down—but we're not leaving, at least not yet.

This morning it was dead-still, and the sky was a brilliant azure —I've never quite appreciated the phrase "calm before the storm" until today.  Now, at 3:30, the light in the sky is diffuse in a weird way. There isn't exactly a cloud layer yet, but it's as if a sheet of fine linen has been pulled over us.  The wind is starting to gust, and I can hear it sporadically whistling through the 100-year-old chimney a few feet away from me as I write this.