Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Dark and Stormy Day...

Today is definitely a day I would have stayed in bed if I could. In stark contrast to yesterday's bright and breezy morning, today started very...darkly. When my alarm went off, I thought I'd set it wrong as my room was still pitch black and there was no sign of daylight outside. Unfortunately, my alarm wasn't wrong. It really was time to get up.

Today is supposed to be stormy, according to weather reports. One peek outside my window and I could see that, for once, they were right. Though I could hear the rumble of thunder in the distance, we hadn't had any rain in my area.

When I went out to my car to leave for work, the garage was dark. Usually in the morning, the filtered light sinks into the dark space and I can at least see where I'm going. Today, that was not the case. When I pulled out into the road, the only world I can use to describe the world was...eerie. I know I used that word yesterday in relation to the fog. I'm using it in relation to the world before a storm today. I seemed to be the only car on the road, my light-sensitive headlights popped on, under the impression it was still night.

I drove out of my neighbourhood, not seeing a soul. For a brief moment, I felt like I was in one of those end-of-the-world films in which I am the only person left. I did not like that feeling too much.

Finally, I saw other headlights and I relaxed a little. I got onto the interstate and suddenly the skies opened. I've seen some heavy rain but this was some of the worst. It was coming down so heavily, I seriously felt like it was going to dent my car. The lightning flashed around me, followed by the harsh crack of the thunder. The hard part about rain like that is it's more dangerous to stop and try to pull over than to keep going. So I focused on the white line that marked my lane, stayed inside it, slowed my speed and kept going.

Other drivers weren't so cautious. They sped on by, slipping and sliding, cutting other drivers off. Those kind of drivers are dangerous because they act like they're above the weather. They think, "It's just rain." The thing is, it might be rain but it can still be dangerous. My years of driving in L.A. have taught me some things. We didn't get much rain there but when we did, it was heavy and when it came down, the roads were slick. It would be six months of build-up of oil and grease on the road, rising to the surface in the first heavy rain of the season. Yes, it was just rain but the roads are as slippery as if they were coated in ice.

So, I learned how to stop and start with caution, careful not to fishtail at stop lights. I learned to see where the highest part of the road was so that I knew which lane would have the least amount of water sitting stagnantly in it.

I was thankful for that experience today. I kept waiting for a break in the rain but still it kept coming. My body was tense, every part of me concentrating.

Finally, the rain did slow and I relaxed a little. I felt as though I'd won some kind of battle, I have to admit.

When I got to work, the rain had almost stopped and there was no trace of the violent storm I'd just seen. We're supposed to have storms like that all day. Part of me hopes we do; I do love a good thunderstorm. The thing is, I know that if we have them, out there, some poor souls are driving and while I'm inside, enjoying the protection of the four walls around me, they're struggling to see, to keep their cars on the road and fight the storm.

Neverless, from the security of the inside, the storm seems less ominous. The skies are still dark but at least it looks like daytime now. There was something fascinating about that apocalyptic darkness though, that I will say. Still, I could have done without the torrential rains that followed. I can hear the far off rumble of the thunder, even from my basement cubicle. Looks like it really is going to be a stormy day.

Happy Tuesday.

No comments: