Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Thunder in the vicinity

I checked the weather online. Instead of "cloudy" or "thunderstorms" it tells me that the current condition is "thunder in the vicinity." It is trouble enough that the current temperature is nearly 90° at one in the morning without such vague, ominous weather reports.

Perhaps Yahoo! has hired a poet to interpret the weather. I expect hitting refresh will result in a short passage from "The Tempest."

We have had nothing but consistent heat and moisture for days and days and days. Chicago has long been a city of extreme weather. It does no season particularly well. Summer's lazy warmth always gives way before long to these oppressive, miserable stretches from which there is no genuine relief. Spring here comes late and flickers almost immediately into summer, like a flourescent bulb: off, on, off, on, off, on, on. Autumn may be the best season here, cool and crisp, but sometimes we flit directly from summer to winter without blinking, the leaaves yanked from the trees with the weight of snowfalls and frost. Winter, of course, grows bitterly cold or brings blizzards which blot out the lines between things. Not too many years ago, we went from early November to early April without ever seeing the temperature reach 50°.

Winter may very well be better than summer. There are things a person can do to work against cold, and the sleeping is better. Aside from hiding beneath an air conditioner, there is really nothing a person can do about heat. There are only so many layers of clothing to remove.

Usually during a heat wave, the city has to open cooling centers throughout the city to try and minimize the number of elderly or homeless casualties. These are the most common groups who pay with their lives for our relative position to the sun this time of year. I don't know what these places are used for the rest of the time. I refuse to believe that there is simply a vast array of empty buildings ready to be conscripted during times of crises. They must serve some other purpose.

But all is not so grim. Today I am ready to start putting words to paper again. I have discovered the keyhole into my novel's new opening, and the key as well, and as soon as I post this, I shall give it a twist and feel the tumblers of the lock give way.

Hope all is well with you, Blogreader. I hope there is no thunder in your vicinity, metaphorical or otherwise.


Zinnia Cyclamen said...

We had thunder here a couple of days ago, but it was the kind that brings relief from a hot and muggy spell, and the weather has been much more pleasant since. Great news about your keyhole, enjoy the opening and what you find inside.

Unknown said...

The thunder has been and gone and is coming again - but it's the thunder of a wild, wet winter - so at least it's not onimous - the rain is another matter... 35 000 people displaced from their homes and snow on all the surrounding mountains. The climate is becoming more and more harsh - everywhere.

Brilliant, wonderful news that you have found the keyhole and the key! Wishing you hours of happy scribbling.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

A wonderful post! I absolutely love the line about Yahoo hiring a poet to interpret the weather.

You have told me more about Chicago weather than I ever knew. I feel as if I just spent a year there.

But congratulations on finding your keyhole and the key, too!! Methinks your chops are up and I await great things from this quarter.

Nikki Neurotic said...

Wish we'd get some storms here...too hot right now. Hard to get anything done really.

That's great news about the writing though, keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Pennsylvania is not much different than Chicago when it comes to weather extremes. I swear there is a 2 week sweet spot when the weather is perfect here, and it is during that time that it usually rains.

"There are things a person can do to work against cold, and the sleeping is better." - I totally agree with this. I have been hoping for rain lately, just to get a break from the 95 degree weather.

Anonymous said...

As one of the workers here once muttered, "This city has no concept of gradual temperature change."

(And I think you know which worker said it.)

Unknown said...

I have no wish to steal your thunder, MT, you can keep it and I'll keep the lovely sun.

Reading the Signs said...

I can hear a bit of rumble in the distance, Mr. Moon. We have had a couple of days summer here, but that's it, I think. I don't mind, don't like heat, love autumn best - good to hear about the writing.

Liz Dwyer said...

Out here in LA, the poetic ways the forecasters describe warm and sunny are hilarious. Half the time I have no idea what they're talking about but I suppose it'd just be boring to describe every day for months on end as warm and sunny.

I'm coming home in a couple of weeks so I hope I get to experience some thunder, rain, lightning...whatever. It's definitely been a stormy summer for me even though it's bone dry outside.

And three cheers for unlocking some magic.

Unknown said...

I think your thunder was outside my window on Monday morning. It woke me up! Hey great news with the key and keyhole and the locks tumbling away. Hope we can peek through someday.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Through the keyhole to a wonderland of Maht worlds... GREAT!!
I can't wait to read it all.

Thinking a bit about the thunder... though, stormy weather puts me in a deeply philosophical and melancholy mood, and THAT always elicits decent writing from me... so there's something to be said for dark skies... thunder, lightening and rainbows just beyond.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

heartinsanfrancisco said...


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