You may want to skip this. Nobody likes hearing about dreams.
I was living in something approximating the offspring of a mobile home and a house tent. Warnings of a dire storm had me battening down the hatches, zipping any windows and walls shut.
I turned around to survey my humble place; clearly visible through my front window, the inky black maw of a tornado churned with abandon. The idea of being paralyzed with fear seems so ridiculously silly until your body slows with hardening cement and your heart works to dislodge itself.
After an eternity or 2 seconds, I frantically grab a nearby camera with fixed 20mm lens, aim and fire.
Two frames of that twisting wreckage through my window, probably blurry.
One frame of flames licking across the eaves of the house across the street. My roof feels absent.
Two frames of the tornado rushing forward, enveloping said house in debris. I’m still inexplicably ignoring my motor drive.
Three frames of the house exploding, birthing a bright fireball of hell from blackness. My brain is a full 500ms behind what my eyes are relaying.
And then it’s upon me. I dive into a closet, wrapping myself in a pile of clothes, and know deep inside that I’m not going to make it.
All I feel is disappointment. I’m an idiot. And now I’m finally going to die from being one.
Then, amid the din, voices. I quickly crawl toward them, shouting to ask if they have a basement.
But I’m outside in the open air and it is silent. The funnel has moved on, leaving a terrible void where the neighbor’s house once stood. Dark clouds hang like shredded cotton in the air, stable at last.
One of the voices belongs to a friend’s mom. She’s asking if I have any good photos.
I flip on the screen; there are the half dozen frames that I remember. And then there’s the dozens more that I don’t, awful shots of people pulling away from the tornado, their faces taunt in nauseous agony.
So what does it mean? I count four things.
1. I briefly chatted with Lauren right before I fell asleep in my chair. She’s the friend with the mom.
2. I read this yarn in Esquire last week
3. I really enjoy my Panasonic GF-1. It’s my knock-around camera of choice.
4. I need to get much more sleep.