August 21, 2012
The storm howls outside my balcony, whipping tree limbs and pouring much needed rain over the face of the desert I call home. This place really needs it. I lean against the railing, a smile plastered on my face as I think of all the faceless people sitting huddled around televisions and radios for weather updates. I lean, smiling, clutching an old leather book I haven’t seen in a number of years. I go to my patio table where my drink and torch wait for me. I do not close my sliding glass door, nor do I turn on any lights. I have my book. I have my drink. I have my torch. I need nothing else.
My torch is a lamp originally designed for spelunking that I have commandeered from its home atop my safety helmet. I flick it on to its night vision setting, bathing my leather book in a soft red light, turning it from its natural light brown color to an instant black. I smirk, taking a gulp of my honey whiskey. Mist from the downpour slides across my skin as I open the worn cover and splash the red light onto the crinkling pages within.
The words, whatever they were originally written in, are now a uniform black beneath the ruby glow. Page after page are filled with notes and ideas written in my all too familiar hand. Page after page I read the stories and thoughts of their author and feel a pang of remorse. These are products of a time when creativity came freely flowing, when effort was not needed in conjuring them out of the ether. I gulp down more of my drink.
Each sentence that my gaze passes over dredges up memories, moments shared and moments private. I am once again in closed rooms, their air thick and choking with flavored tobacco and sweat and laughter and things experienced and never discussed. I am once again stretched beneath the midnight blue of the still winter sky, gazing upon eons old starlight and maps made by the most primitive of men to find their way home through the vast stretches of darkness in the world. I once again exist in those moments between moments, where things overlap and one moment is consubstantial with every other.
I close the worn book and flick off my lamp and gaze out over the hazy cityscape before me. White light flashes in the folds of the broiling sky. Crashing waves of sound echo though the valleys of manmade mountains. Closing my eyes, I feel the energy of these elemental powers, forces that humanity has cowered in awe from for countless ages. Behind my eyelids I can still see the flash preceding the concussive wave that shakes the sliding glass door and reverberates down into my core. I sigh at the sensation, one I have not felt in so very long.
I reach into my pocket and retrieve my pen. I open the book to the empty pages that have been neglected for far too long. Placing my stylus to the page, I breathe in the power coursing around me and let the storm guide my hand.