There are clouds in the distance that shine.  That flicker.  That start distorting as they come closer– a wide panoramic view that seems like something that it’s not.  They blink and I blink.  In succession, at the same time or sometimes in opposition.  Dark whirlwinds, whirling dirt bits, encroaching with an intention. Natural as it proceeds, proceeding to fuck things up.  For a little bit once in a while.  Sometimes when necessary.  Today.

I can’t hear it coming yet, but I see it clearly ahead – but it’s also blurry-ish-esc from the early signs of raindrops.  Foggy-esc.  Rumbling-ish.  Wet.  Behind it a blue sky.

I hope.

For now, I wince as it winces.  Blink as it blinks.  Try to look around for better cover.  Wondering where my cat is.  Is she scared?  Is she scared of the storm?  Can she sense I’m worried about her right now?  Is she trying to find me?

But actually I’m more worried about my computer at work. Worried that it’s still plugged in where I left it near the window. Plugged in without a serge protector.  Maybe the lines aren’t grounded there. I can’t remember if I turned it off before I left.

I wonder if it has a consciousness—my computer.  I know it doesn’t, but I wonder sometimes.  Would it get mad at me because I forgot it – hypothetically speaking of course—because it might get fried by this storm.  Of course not.  That’s fucking stupid.  This is stupid.  Fucking stupid.  It would just be dead then.  Dead.

The air turns colder.  Shifts from a warmth to a tremor – making me tremble a little. But only because I forgot my cardigan. It’s at work with my computer. With my papers too. With my responsibilities that I’m getting sick of taking responsibility for.  More than ever, ever since…. ever since things changed in management… I can’t seem to manage it.

Turning circles.  That’s what the leaves are doing now.  Turning circles outside my car window around me. Leaves flying in through the open window.  Here again because I had to come.  Again.  This is the other end of responsibility.  The part where I have no choice because people would think I was an asshole if I didn’t come.  Because it would be “insensitive”.  Because I would be considered a shitty daughter.

The tension is rising.  More or less.  I need to find better cover but still don’t entirely give a shit about what happens next either.  The tension of the distance.  The tension of anxious wishes.  I wish this could stop.  This path.  This path clearly blurred ahead…. coming quickly, quickly past.  I roll up the car window.

I read once that people can break their phobias.  They can free themselves.  There are ways to break bad habits.  There are ways to heal.  To forget.  To forgive.  To move on.  To evolve.  I’ve read about this.  On my computer.

I have to modify it every year.  Because I can’t afford a new one, because I need it. Because I have to keep adding data to it.   I have to keep collecting images and videos.  Word documents… administration… bills… files… screenshots… PDFs…. shit that’s important, shit that’s not. Thing’s I’m responsible for.  Shit.

But my computer doesn’t get to forget.  Unless I let it.  It has to keep it because I tell it to.  Because I do.  It keeps slowing down as I give it more to handle, to hold on to.  But I need it.

Surely they have grounded power at my work. Surely, right? Any reasonably responsible building contractor would know that, right?  They would have prepared for this kind of storm.  Right?

It phases in and out now.  The sound.  The sound of the storm coming.  My car radio isn’t keeping a good signal.  That’s odd.  Frequencies must be getting distorted.  Shit.  I don’t want to get out of my car.  I don’t want to go inside.  I don’t want it to hail either.  I hope it doesn’t hail.

Maybe it would be good to be wiped out though.  There are a lot of things that would be better off erased.  Accidently of course.  So that then I don’t have to take responsibility for it.  It’s better if I’m not responsible for this.

I think I forgot something else at work though. Something for her.

What was it?

She might get mad.  I feel like she might get mad at me for forgetting it.

But what the hell was it?

Flash.  And then another.  It’s closer.  It’s louder.  It’s pounding down onto the roof of my car.  Now I can’t get out.  Now I can’t go in.  Now I can’t find better cover.  Shit, what was it ?????  I’ll have to check my computer.  When this ends I’ll have to go back.  Go back to work.  To get it.  Then come back here.  Again.  And face her.  Face this.


What the hell was it?





Michelle Lee Proksell