Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Weather Most Foul

Today was weird. So weird in fact that I just had to tell you all about it.

As you may or may not know, we've been having a truly spiteful heat wave here in California. It's been in excess of a hundred degrees Fahrenheit every day this past week. It's been so hot that the moment I step outside the house and away from the cold, loving embrace of modern air conditioning it feels like my organs are melting. It's a terrible feeling.

Today in particular stood out as particularly gruesome; This morning it was the same face-burning heat that I had grown accustomed to this week, it didn't seem too out of the ordinary. But the change began this afternoon, A few friends and I noticed some dark, puffy clouds billowing in the distant horizon. Thunder clouds. A foreshadowing of the coming turmoil.

The last class of the day, I was quietly finishing a test when the P.A. system sprung to scratchy irritating life.

"Attention teachers." The crackly noise said. "There is a lock-down, please do not release your students until such and such time because blah blah there's a fire outside."

My fellow students, as sticky and humid as they were, began to mutter darkly amongst themselves about the quick work a fire would do to their delicate flesh-meat. Being the genius I am I asked the teacher the pertinent question: "If there's a fire why are they keeping us all in a very flammable building?" Everyone laughed, including the teacher.

If I may side-track, I think my algebra teacher is silently intimidated by my genius, but that's just me.

So yeah, I exchanged a shrug with my friend across the room after that outburst and for the rest of the class time everyone quietly puzzled just where the fire was supposed to be or if we were in danger. Thankfully, class was over before we were burnt to death and it was time to go home.

Now, I've never been to the tropics but after today I think I have a good idea what it would be like to live there. The blast of hot, misty air was at once invigorating and horrifying. The moment I stepped out of the room I could have sworn I was in a steamy jungle in the Jurassic. Not only that, it was raining. So if ever someone asks me what it would be like to be a tiny person inside a tea cup while someone's pouring boiling water on top of you I will know how to respond.

What's embarrassing is that I was wearing a white shirt today, so the possibility that the rain would make me indecent suddenly became a very real possibility.

I sprinted for the crosswalk, taking cover under every tree I could. After avoiding most of the water I made it to the intersection. Now, you must know that the intersection near my school is dangerous. Everyday. Forever. But today in particular it seemed particularly deadly.

Cars were weaving around each other in every direction and fleeing students were scrambling in between the rain-soaked vehicles in a mad dash at escape. It looked like a disaster, if you saw that intersection today you too would think that society has collapsed.

In a way it did, because just as I was crossing the street, still running, I heard a loud crunch. A small silver car was spinning wildly in the middle of the intersection and a larger green car was slowing to a halt nearby. It was then that I saw the silver car's right side pointed straight at me, dented and crumbled inward.

By that time I had enough, the heat, rain and alleged fire had combined and the stress was too much for these motorists to take, they had gone insane. I could tell, I saw the driver of the green car get out of their vehicle, I looked them in the eye as I crossed them on the sidewalk, they had a look of sheer confusion in their eyes. No one said anything for those few moments after the collision, even the car's engines seemed to silence themselves.

I ran full-bore for the safety of the other side of the street, suddenly I noticed the flashes of lightning in the distance. Yes, there was lighting now.

I waited under a tree, something I instantly realized even while I was doing it was a bad idea, because my Grandmother (or Nana) said she would meet me there to pick me up as I usually walk home. For ten minutes I waited under the relative safety of the tree. There was another young man there and for a while we talked about the crash, the rain and the spider that was slowly lowering itself on a single thread just a yard away from us. Plus the insane weather.

The rain subsided a bit and I decided to make my escape. I marched boldly down the sidewalk, breathing in the hot tropical air in large lungfuls.

Eventually a small red car pulled up next to me. Inside it's foggy windows I could see my Grandfather (or Poppa) motioning for me to get in. We made it home safely, I noticed he wasn't wearing shoes and I noted the urgency of his actions. When we got home my Nana told me there was a small tornado or dust devil in the backyard.

Just so you understand, today started as very very hot, then just as school was over it started to rain, then there was lightning, then a car crash and then tornadoes and fire. All this happened within a space of thirty minutes.

I'm convinced California wants a sacrifice. There's just no other explanation.


chanyners said...

indecent >:D

mom said...

tyler..there are no im just going to say im so glad you made it out alive and in one piece! I hate that intersection. You must never get run over by a car you hear me?
and you let poppa drive your car?? how generous of you

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