There’s a storm blowing in.

There’s a storm blowing in and the wind is picking at my blood, my teeth, lifting me. I can feel it out there crushing the air against the dampening earth, rolling the wind in front of the cloudforce, rolling over my brain in a curling wave of ecstasy and desire and looming pain that I can’t feel yet but will. It is coming and I can see it through the empty black of smothered night, see the lightning knifing across the cornfields and the prairies on the endless plains more than a thousand miles beyond the horizon. I can see the lighting threading the air and feel the rent air thundering against the ground running under my feet and into my body, but I can’t hear it yet.

It is coming.

Raw groans come unbidden from my panting mouth and I pace jerkily across the tiny kitchen, the cheap white linoleum floor foreign and strange. I see the walls and the lights and clock and the clutter of this life that I have built that has been built that is always being built around me but I’m looking through them into the night at the lighting flashing white and yellow across the plains.

I’m back in that boxed-in land of meandering sidewalks and sodium lampposts, scurrying harried shadows flitting in and out of the evenly spaced lights, running from the storm, hiding in their borrowed ubiquitous rooms. I want to suck in the wind and blow them away blow down the buildings that hold me in, pen in the sky. I remember the urge need to get out of those hemming paths, to run across open ground and find the storm. I wanted to meet it on its own terms, uncontained and swallowing the night. To stand in the open and feel the lashing rain. To squint my eyes against the torrenting sky and wait to be blinded by lightning overhead, turning green and purple in its nearness. To feel the crack of thunder while my eyes still burn from the flash and my skin feels as if it is growing spines.

There was a different woman there once. Not mine. Just a woman who wanted to see the storm, who was willing to stand under the lighting with me and see what the storm would do. I can feel her now, on the periphery of my senses, a needle in my head tracking her as she moves, trying to point me at her. She must come to me now with the storm, for she is long gone from me in all but ink on scattered pages of mismatched paper, trailing through years and boxes, tucked into stacks in the dark of closets.

So now there is just the gathering storm, and me lost on the edge of it. It seems a herald, a flag cast down from the hand of some mighty god, and I open myself up to the wind listening for the words.

But I can’t hear them.

All I hear is the rushing wind in my ears and my imagined heartbeat echoing out of some deep hole in the world, pounding my body like thunder. But my breathing is slow. There is no wind, yet, though I imagine it hammering down the few sheltering peaks to the west, the sentinels that stand before the endless oceans, that have stood through memoryless ages of storms like this one. The blood I feel in my mouth is a ghost, torn from my empty frustration and desire. I feel an ache through my bones, my nerves throwing signals as if water on a blaze, but the building is lost, unrecoverable. I want to stand in the storm and let the thunder beat me to my knees, but instead I hear the sound of eight padded feet scrabbling across the floor as they swipe and chase a hair-tie or some bit of paper. The only wind in this room is from the whirring compressor in the fridge, and so I have nothing to guide me through the night.