Courage and fear, those alternating currents. Like whips of lightning that stripe sheets of rain, the boom of close-by thunder. A rattly noise on all the roofs and windows: and we realize it’s hailing— I imagine chunks of ice like dice rolled in a cup, bouncing on the pavement, into the ditch lined with weeds. It’s hard to see on the road, through rain’s white noise and the Friday evening rush: everyone wants to get home, to flee to somewhere dry and dim, backlit by tea lights and amber-colored bottles of beer. Somewhere, a siren. A police car flashes its emergency lights every few seconds, steering motorists away from the flooded underpass. Umbrellas are no match for the wind. Secretaries from the engineering building wade into the flooded street, their high-heeled sandals tucked into their lunch bags. Be careful, someone yells out a window. Are you almost here? texts my friend. It may take a while, I say. We’ll get there when we get there. Nothing to do but ride this out, observe: we’re here, we’re here, still here.
In response to small stone (103).