Something Blue 1
October 13, 2011 § 1 Comment
The sky is my God. I worship it, especially when the wind rolls in and blows the deep grey over us, capping off the land from the sun, and whorls roil out from the heart of the clouds, and then there’s the first crack of a giant spine snapping. The color of a stroke.
Wind tries to tear trees out of the ground, rain slants sideways and invades every crack, lightning strikes close enough to bring that tang into the mouths of people scattering for shelter.
I walk out onto the pier and watch my God work.
The boats in the Cove left unhauled are beginning to know fear. At the least, their owners are, as the bruised purple water first slaps, then strikes their fiberglass hulls, driven into froth by the wind. Eventually Bob Triamant’s boat, with its twin Detroit diesels and his thousands dollars worth of radar, is smashed up against the granite and shale breakwater and cracks form in the side. The blue paint flies with each impact, and even though I can’t see his house I can see him sitting at the window, watching his boat die. Wishing he’d hauled it.
I told him it was coming. The bland red-haired man on Channel 10 had predicted sunny days ahead, but I told them all: God is coming. I stood up on top of Pine Hill and looked out over Narragansett Bay, and I saw the Newport Bridge with a thick haze of water shimmering in the air, and I told Dad and everybody else who would listen. Which was nobody.
That crazy Garanhir kid was acting up again.
The wind shakes the wood under my feet, raindrops explode off of my skin, my shirt sticky and cold against my skin, my hair dripping water down my face, and I start laughing as a white-blue crack erupts from the sky down trees behind me.
I know it killed something.
The sky continues to attack. I continue to watch.
I open my eyes, and the cold skin of night is waiting for me, dressed in stars.
In Providence they’d all be invisible. My breath is visible, and I’m trembling, cold downinside my stomach, as wet as if I’d jumped off of the dock and into the cove. Standing up is trembling weakness, but I manage to do it, and I walk off the dock and up the trail. Several trees are blackened from the lightning, and several more have fallen. The ground is spongy, almost liquid, and I have to walk slowly to keep from sinking into it.
I take the left, trying to remember where I left the Honda, and thankfully even in the dark I see a glimmer of chrome and find the bike. I covered the engine and gas-tank in trash bags just before breaking out into my run for the dock. They’re gone, torn away by wind. In the dark, I have very little idea of what I’m doing. I check the lines and the engine as best I can. It looks fairly dry. Hopefully any water that got in has evaporated by now. If not, I’m walking.
I sling my leg up, dig the key out of my jacket, and swing the kickstand out from the bike with my right leg. I have to kickstart five times before it turns over, muttering and hoarse. Some water got in. I hope it burns off. The engine doesn’t die on me, though, and I click the headlight on and wince as the orange-red front fender glows with reflected light.