Ad Hoc Hurricane Correspondent
The big one shows up on blue screen like an end-boss in some sixty-four bit
adventure. It’s green and hulking on the map, dwarfing cities standing in for
heroes. Weatherman seems like he’s trying to Dan Rather us. Field
correspondents in raingear say the name enough times, with enough doom
graphics, enough rain sheeting sideways, in enough abandoned hotel parking
lots, that no one wants to name a baby after it.
I can correspond as well as anyone. I grab Derek, my phone, my charger.
“Are you kidding me?” Derek says.
I say “no.” I say “Tumblr.” I say “fifteen minutes
of” and “public’s right to know.”
In the carport we pile in, second owners of the last decade’s most popular
midsize something something. The flow of plebs fleeing the castle, directed by
goombahs, driving back to World 1 – 1, makes us snort. A goombah in raingear
tries to funnel us onto the northbound turnpike at the complex gate, but we
head south into the eye, across asphalt under so much water our tires make
crests and troughs.
I check the internet chatter and drive to the boss-fight. Boss is huge, eats
town, gulps levees, picks up cows, devours. We drive the midsize in diminishing
circles; narrow our circumference. The sky stills. We pass cars leveled into
part of the earth once more. I try for the best angle. Derek steers. The
recorded noise of a shutter sounds each time I tap on the bright, flat screen.
Unfiltered, the thing nobody wants to name a baby after looks naked and fake,
like sexing someone in fluorescent, overhead light. Would mood lighting kill
it? Would anything?
I say “drive around again” and Derek starts to weep; to RomCom an
ending that’s pure handheld vérité. I finally get the shot with a daguerreotype
patina and upload it to my Tumblr — something that says those were such times
when brave men struggled, when an enemy arose and we, as a people, heeded the
call, and said to adversity, in the face of danger, these are the days when
something something, something something something something.
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