Michael Campbell

Story Time.

That Blows

by | Jul 8, 2008 | Uncategorized

My office is in my attic. It’s a nice high perch from where I can spy on my neighborhood. That’s where I was when the tornado came.

I love storms, and smiled as the clouds went from bruise-blue to charcoal-black, and the wind spun up to a rip. But the intensity kept increasing beyond normal summer storms and the house began to shudder and moan. As my perch began feeling more like a diving platform, I headed for the basement.

Okay, too safe. So I crept back upstairs and peeked out my back door, which is on the lee side of a wind that had grown angry. “There will not be one tree left when this is over,” I thought. The lights blinked out.

Of course, my first instinct is to call everyone I know, which is everyone else’s instinct because the phone systems were jammed. Storms aren’t as fun when you can’t “Ooooo” with someone else.

I was apprehensive about going to the front of my house. That’s where the damage would be. Gingerly, I opened the door. Leaves ripped from their branches were plastered across the windward side of my house as if an elephant had sneezed. My garden looked like it had been ambushed by a shotgun, ripped to ribbons by screaming hailstones. Big trees were down everywhere, and three cars were smashed flat. Worse, my car wasn’t.

The transmission had gone out on my truck, and I’ve been trying to sell it. I parked it quite carefully under the biggest, longest, most precarious limb on my street, waiting for just such a storm. Imagine my envy seeing my neighbor’s minivan nearly divided in half by the next silver maple log.

I think I pushed the garage door opener button ten times before realizing that it goes up by electricity, not by magic. As I stood in my yard, a firefly glowed brightly. “Well,” I thought, “at least HE has power.” More lightning bugs began blinking and I thought, “We’ll get through this fine.” Then the blinking stopped. I didn’t know what to conclude from that.

We decided to open the bar anyway. It’s always dark, always candlelit—so what’s new? Vinnie Bronx called, eager to do an all acoustic show with guitar, stand-up bass and congas, and we set them up right in the middle of the floor. A few fans tiptoed in and got a great show. Afterwards I went home, pushed my garage door opener button ten more times, winked at the fireflies and went to bed. It was so quiet I could hear my own blood.

I haven’t seen a bunny in my yard since sprin, but a little guy appeared this morning, and he was very apprehensive. So if anyone in West Omaha is missing a baby bunny, I think he landed in my back yard. I’ll look after him for you.


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