Thursday, September 3, 2009

It begins.

Standing at the edge of a deserted gas station, der Wind ist stark. The plane of the world narrows and curls up towards me. Thickening dust mutes the colors into brown, gray and gold, and the horizon grows black. The sun is blinding white for a moment, turning the dusky grass bright, but the encroaching storm is spinning, gaining speed. Its orb becomes a slit, then a dull yellow smear like the one course of light in the corner of a dark painting.

I feel how the storm is rising, about to break. I run stumbling toward the gas pumps; I need something to hold onto.

There is a woman there. She is tall with gray hair. Two men drive up in a jeep, park and get out, joining us at the pumps. They begin to speak to the woman, but I cannot hear what they are saying, only that they are speaking Spanish. They are tourists from Spain, and wear matching white shirts, jeans and white cowboy hats.

"Was wollen Sie wissen? Ich kann euch nicht verstehen!" she says. Then they turn to me.
"Deutsch?" I ask. "English? Italiano?"
"No. Espagnol."
"Que quieres?"
They want to know when the rain will come. No, when the storm will come. When will it start?

The question is absurd; it is already here. The wind is deafening and I can see nothing beyond their faces. The woman has faded from view, perhaps she has even been swept away.

Still, I struggle to answer them.
"Yo creo...Yo pienso que pluir pronto. Muy pronto. Si, Si. Es commence ahora. Si! Es viene!"

It begins. The world is cracking and falling apart. Something like rain, but thick and black and painful, is rushing and swirling on all sides. The sun is but a speck. One man grabs me, carrying me around my waist. They put me in the car with them, and it is silent.

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