Hurricanes and Roving Thug Block Parties

Image of Hurricane Dorian is a cellphone screenshot from WeatherUnderground.com

Imagine you live in a neighborhood where, from time to time during the autumn, roving thugs invade the entire area. They pour into your house and the houses of everyone else in the neighborhood, stick guns to your head, and for a period of a week or more hold their guns to your head and the heads of anyone else who is with you, threaten to destroy everything you own and to kill you and everyone you love — and you can put shutters up on your windows — but if the thugs are serious, that won’t stop them from doing what they’re going to do.

One of three things then happens.

They do nothing, getting bored with their game, and just go away.

They trash some places but not yours, kill some people, but not you… and then they go away.

Or they destroy your stuff, or kill you.

They might come back again several times during the same year. Might just disappear into the woodwork for a while — but you KNOW they’ll eventually be back.

Well, the thugs are in my living room right now. Our sky is gray, it’s raining, and there are intermittent gusts of wind bending the palm trees in front of our place.

I KNOW Hurricane Dorian is supposed to turn.

I KNOW.

But you look at the size of that monster, and to the outer bands that are already over us, it’s very hard to NOT think, “Weather forecasters have been wrong once or twice before about hurricanes… and what if they are this time, and what if it doesn’t?”

And even if if does, there’s another one already building out there.

This needs to become Florida’s State Song.

It already is for me.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

4 comments… add one
  • Werner F. Meyer Sep 5, 2019 @ 22:11

    A great analogous piece.

    A great choice of music for the subject matter.

    I will forever miss Chris Cornell’s powerful voice.

    • Holly Feb 25, 2020 @ 10:49

      Chris Cornell — I hate that he gave up. He was amazing.

      • Werner Feb 25, 2020 @ 11:09

        I couldn’t agree more. While I won’t pretend to know the depths or the effects of his depression, as a father I find it very difficult to reconcile putting his children through such a traumatic experience. I keep wondering, ‘Did he try everything he could?’

        Oh well, there’s no use rehashing the shoulda, coulda, woulda’s as it changes nothing. If there’s anything I’ve learned from people I’ve known who have survived wars and holocausts, all we can do is get on with life, live for today and be thankful and grateful for joys and beauty we do get to experience.

        • Holly Feb 26, 2020 @ 8:33

          If there’s anything I’ve learned from people I’ve known who have survived wars and holocausts, all we can do is get on with life, live for today and be thankful and grateful for joys and beauty we do get to experience.

          Exactly. And (from having been through a bit of knee-deep shit myself) to look at the times when you’re knee-deep or neck deep in the stuff and simply ask the question, “What can I learn from this?”

          Or, if you view life as having a connection to a higher power, “What is this trying to teach me?”

          Either way, that is the question that makes survival rather than suicide possible. Said from personal experience.

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