Wednesday, May 13, 2009

different quadrants of carbondale are checking in regularly now, as power is being restored throughout the city; it's wednesday evening, i believe, and we got ours earlier this evening, a little before dinner. first thing we did was cook dinner, but we put a load of dishes through and another load or two of laundry. quick, before a tornado wiped out the power again. it was tornado watch this evening too, but everyone kept working, chainsaws going, brush removal happening, generators going until the last minute. it was actually not mellow, not dark, not peaceful, not even wholesome, by the time it was over; everyone got into their busy routines, and fired up the big engines to get on with it. huge trucks all over the road, and i have to say, i admire these power guys; they go into these places, some lowland snake-infested high-grass kind of places, and put up huge telephone poles where before, there was a snapped piece of wood that had dried out and been cut in half by the hurricane wind. myself, i'm staying away from chainsaws; i need my fingers, and i'm a-d-d, first thing i'll do is forget i'm carrying one, and cut off my ear. so i have to admit, as i go around town, that these guys are doing the heavy work, while i'm just watching the kids, and pointing out where entire houses are ruined.

so some have had enough of this inland hurricane stuff, but i'm still wondering, what was it? how could a hurricane have come across kansas, of all places? did it come from the sea? if not, how did it get that hurricane characteristic: wide, wet, powerful? i saved a gif that shows it crossing the plains, dumping on carbondale; i've found nothing written about it bouncing off the river, or picking up its water there or anywhere. it was generally agreed that carterville got the worst of it; that's a town to the east of here, fairly new in its development, but, over in murphysboro today, someone said that goreham and jacob, down by the river, got it the worst. those river towns, on the bottoms, so to speak, always get the worst of tornados too, and especially floods; they are prone to all kinds of disasters, and i'm sure they're a little weary of the whole thing by now.

nevertheless, precious little is written about this inland hurricane, except that it's generally agreed that that is what it was; i see nobody trying to explain it, or tell us where it came from or why. it clearly was not in the pattern of your usual storm, though some tornados came along with it, it seemed; it was preceded, by one day, by a hail-storm that damaged a few cars; it was followed by the usual calm weather, clear blue sky, and then finally, today, muggy heavy thickness that turned into a tornado watch. watch, i can do, that just means it's possible. it's always possible; anything is possible.

in the spirit of reliving it, processing it, making peace with the cold reality of it, i've done several things. one, copy four different photo albums onto my facebook; i'll probably have more, as more town residents get power and upload. two, copy the gif below, so as to relive the moment itself. three, make pop art, i think if you can scroll down, you'll see it; this comes from samah, who took the photos, then left town i guess; smart thing to do. we, on the other hand, left right away, then came back, to pick up some of the experience, i guess.

maybe it's not such a big deal. you just have to live in a small town such as this to know, when brush piles line the walks, and block your vision to the porches and yards of the houses, that's a big deal. when you have hundreds of visitors in day-glow vests and big muscles, that's kinda big too, though they'll be gone soon enough, and that will be just as well. i don't like it when the ratio of men to women goes above 4 or 5 to one; too much like alaska, or prison, or football. our town is mellow, a little sunny at the moment; but, i think they'll see that, and only move here if they're really attracted. in the end, it's not much. just a green and hilly place, not far from the river, where the power of the weather passes through once in a while. chou


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