Like a Bolt Out of the Blue

Wow! What a trip! Last night we had a pretty severe storm roll through and, because it was hot and I love storms, I went out to sit on the front porch to watch the light show. As I sat there, I watched the neighbors' kids leave with their aunt. I watched the cars go by. I watched the flashes of lightning. Nothing out of the ordinary. The neighbor's dog strayed into our yard and our cat jumped up on one of the columns, her favorite look-out spot. I got up and started talking to the dog, inviting her to the step so that I could pet her...

Suddenly, in the space of a millisecond, CRACK-FLASH-BOOM! The dog took off, the cat took off, and Nettl ran out the front door. She'd been napping and it woke her up just that fast. We'd heard the crack before we'd seen the flash! It was a sizzling, cracking sound. The neighbor in the house catty-corner from us, a college dude, ran out onto his porch. Other neighbors came out, all taking about how close the lightning had been--right on top of us.

I could still smell it, so I walked all around the yard checking for a fire in one of the trees, or on our roof. Nettl came inside and the cat ventured out to the step. The neighbor said something to me and I replied, then suddenly another CRACK-FLASH-BOOM! My vision was blinded by a flash of bright red and my hair stood on end. I looked at the cat and her fur was sticking out all over.

"Holy shit!" I said to the neighbor.
"Yeah!" he shouted. "That was right behind you!"

I went into the house.

I thought it was pretty exciting, but then I got really nauseas. I got a bad headache and I was instantly dehydrated and had to drink a bunch of water. It passed, but man!

Needless to say, I'm feeling a bit Fearless today. Another, even worse set of storms are coming tonight, but am I afraid? Not one bit! If Life was going to get me, it would have done it last night. What a way to go, though. Better than dying in a hospital bed with tubes in every orifice. Yeah, when it's my time to go, I want to be taken out by a bolt of lightning.

Oh, and never believe the adage that lightning never strikes twice in the same place.

"A poet is someone who stands outside in the rain
hoping to be struck by lightning."
James Dickey