Environment: Quiet

When the temperature reaches up and grabs 95 degrees by the scrotum, everyone winces in pain. Passers-by growl and glare in wet, stinky rags. Smiles that, as recently as Sunday, well-wished and laughed over a coffee now remain silent and sucking on water. The air is thick with it yet everyone still craves it. The more we drink the more we excrete. Wet Hell on Earth.

Then it happens. The summer storm. Closing the eyelids of the sky, it coughs and blinks in a torrential downpour. The only quiet time in the city is when the rain comes. The piper that cleans the streets of aural pollution. An occasional bird swoops to a warm home in the tree and a passenger from a bus runs to the nearest awning–a halfway house for children. Everyone watches in silence, whether out in the open or from inside their homes, as the water pours from above and floods the streets and the self with awe.

After it subsides, the birds call out for each other. A few in the trees, one on a power line, and a few from my neighbor’s back porch. Cheerful singing: “The city is our bird bath!”.

The same storm in the middle of the ocean; the rain drenched deck seems to almost splinter under the jarring pressure of the water coming from every direction. Aching and rumbling like the heavens are shitting out a plague. In a situation like that one has a single choice and that is to lie down and accept your fate. Absorb the life source that will kill you and thirst for dryer times, thirst with everything inside, and accept defeat.

Every manhole and sewer cover in the city is now flooded. I know it is. They’ll still be overflowing tomorrow morning. If the sewer can’t handle that much water what will happen when Lake Michigan eventually spills its shore and engulfs everyone in a stenchy death? The fish will rule. That’s what will happen.

UPDATE: I was right.


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