Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Armageddon It...

Rich thinks I almost died last night.

Despite the fact, I was scared out of my ever-loving wits for a few brief seconds, and it's nice to know that someone who cares is willing to scream like a banshee when they think you've been struck by lightning, isn't it?

Perhaps you wouldn't know.

Let me paint you a picture:

The storm was centered over the brick Cape Cod, it's malicious clouds churning and swirling with a tangible hatred and anger. Lightning flashes and crashes on all sides, and thunder echoes off the mountain angry at it's containment.

The few times electricity is flowing through the lines, the television screams about tornado watches, tornado warnings, flash flood watches, and flash flood warnings... (I'm wondering why some need watching while others need warning, but that's for higher minds than myself who went to school to figure out why some clouds look like Snoopy and others look like Satan's fetus with a urinary tact infection...)

Hawthorne paces back and forth like a sentry from window to window, letting out whines and growls intermittently, as if looking for the underlying rhythm to the chaotic noise that encompasses the living area.

Suddenly a dull roar--Niagara Falls has been relocated to West Bowmans (dare I say, without Canadian consent). As electricity sputters on, then off, and then back on, fighting for the right to flow freely through wires, two lone candles on the coffee table stand against the long periods of darkness.

I decide to try to sleep, even though the air in the house is hot, heavy, and of course, air-conditioned free. Hawthorne, becoming more of a scaredy cat as the years go by, can't bear to sleep in his usual spot and insists on trying to become a part of my spine as the cacophony of noise seems to grow only louder.

Sleep, it must be said, is impossible.

At 1:20 am, Rich arrives home from work, having traveled through the tornadic and flood-prone areas. He regales the dog and myself with tales of fallen trees, washed-out roads, and a silly senior citizen with a hearing problem at the gas station. At this point, I am exhausted and I try once again to find the sleep, but the storm seems to have given up on movement entirely, quite content to try to drown my mountain side sanctuary. Rich thinks that if he's there for the dog to try to meld with, I'll be able to catch some sleep.

That doesn't work. And Armageddon doesn't end.

At 2 am, I get up and head to the living room. Of course, the electricity is still coming in fits and starts, but it's better than laying in my own sweat on the sheets. Rich and the dog follow as the storm, which has been going since 10:30 pm, seems to grow in strength. Wind now rattles the fire bush against the kitchen window, and that combined with the pouring rain, howling wind, and non-stop thunder and lightning, I'm convinced that somehow the tales of the Tea-Kettle Demon of West Bowmans have come true.

It's either that, or Jesus decided that right above my house would be the perfect place for his new bowling alley, complete with disco-laser-light show and Dolby surround-sound. His quest for the perfect game has gone on for well over four and a half hours, and I'm beginning to think he's drunk, which is why he hasn't won yet.
Okay, so it's more like a tapestry than a painting--call me Michelangelo if it makes you feel any better.

But these are the events that brought about the screaming banshee formerly known as Rich. As we sat there in the living room, pondering the shapes of our flickering shadows, I decided that if I couldn't sleep, I should at least be smoking outside enjoying the light show that Jesus has apparently put so much thought and planning into. (Remind me to write a strongly worded email to the commissioner of heavenly bowling alleys...)

I step out onto my sad, tiny front porch of three-feet-by-four-feet, being careful to stay on the actual step so as not to get my socks wet. I pull the door almost closed so as to not lose my balance on the small step, but also keep my smoke from blowing into the non-air-conditioned living room.

And it is an awesome light show. Lightning flashes with the frequency of Lindsey Lohan's rehab stints, and the noise is truly deafening. I blow lazy smoke rings into the driving rain just inches from my nose, and consider calling off of work. It is, after all, almost three in the morning now, with no hope of sleep in sight. As my mind thinks up creative excuses ("There's a tree on my car, can't come in today," or "The road is flooded out, can't come in today..." as these types of things do happen around here every now and then...) a brilliant flash of light and instantaneous noise rips me out of my reverie! I swear that that bolt of lightning was RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!!!!!

I feel myself falling backward through the door, and I land on my ass, knocking into the dining room chair with my head. All I can see is this white stripe of light in front of my eyes, and I hear Rich screaming, "Oh my god!! Oh my god!!"

I feel his hands wrench me to my feet, and my first thought is, "Wow, he's stronger than I thought," which was quickly followed by "I must be alive if I'm thinking that!" Hawthorne is barking like mad and Rich is shoving me onto the couch.

"Were you hit? Are you okay? What the hell happened!!? I'm calling 9-1-1!!"

"No, no... I think I'm okay, more scared than anything..."

I keep waiting for the white stripe on my eyes to go away, and am blinking like crazy to try to get my eyes to adjust.

"Let me see your hands--they say you'll have black spots where the lightning went in and out of your body--"

"I wasn't hit, I'm fine!?" I say this without much conviction. Am I just numb? Is my hair standing up like Einstein's? I reach up to pat my hair, but it seems fine...

"Hawthorne, shut up!" Rich yells, but Hawthorne thinks we must now be under attack from this storm which has had him on edge all evening. I've never heard him truly growl and carry-on before, and it's very unnerving, but I see him around my blind spots of white stripes and pull him up on the couch to calm him down.

"I knew smoking would kill you!"

"Hello, I'm not dead!"

"You could be!"

This argument goes for the next few minutes in a vicious circle. As the white stripe begins to fade, I stand up and walk to the front door.

"NO! You are NOT going outside!!"

"Okay, Hitler. I just want to see if it DID hit outside or if I was just--"

"It's still storming! You are NOT--"

"Rich, the day I start taking orders from you is the day I die, now get out of my way, I'm just going to look out the window."

He seems mollified by the return of my attitude (ironic, that) and moves to one side, but stays right behind me, as if at a moment's notice he can wrest me from the grasps of any electrical charge that may decide to come through the front door.

But it was too dark to see what, if anything, had actually been hit by the lightning which had caused me to Mary Lou Retton my way back into my house. Ironically, this gymnastic feat seemed to be all Mother Nature was waiting for. After earning my Silver medal, the rain gradually started to die off, and the lightning started striking with less frequency. We managed to figure out how to set our cell phones as an alarm, since the electricity was still intermittent, and I did, indeed, get up and go to work after only about two hours of sleep.
I should have called off.
When I got home today, I saw Bob and Luthor standing across the street at the garage, and I called over, "Everything okay?"

It seems the garage was hit by lightning, less than fifty feet from where I had been standing. All the garage door openers were fried, all the light bulbs were broken and scattered on the floor inside, and nothing that had been plugged in worked anymore...

So there it is, ladies and gentlemen--my THIRD near death experience. I realize I have yet to blog about number two (number one can be found here), but suffice it to say that I live.

Although I don't think I'll be smoking on the front porch in a thunderstorm anytime soon...


mom said...

:) hello jason! :) that was a big warning for you from the lightning God! :) daddy said i slept while all that storm was going on. i was tired. and from my weather brain the tornado watches mean that conditions are right for a tornado to form and tornado warnings mean that one is around.(see i gave up my career as a weather person to be a mother to you wonderful rugrats!) i can't believe i slept and didn't know all this. i guess i would of woke if my house decided to blow away. now you might think twice when i say to you lightning is going to strike you. :) glad your ok. glad rich was around to make sure you were ok. love and prayers

Jason Hughes said...

I can't believe you slept through that!! Well, that settles it, I don't take after you... :D And I knew you would say that "wanring from god" stuff LOL!!

Actually, if you think about it, though, that's a sucky-ass warning system. Now, if he would have written: "Jason, you are wrong, believe in me" with lightning, than I would think you were on to something...

As it stands, god either has sucky aim, no clue about how to actually warn people, or it was all just coincidence...

BTW, I'm still glad you raised us in the home and not at the TV studio... Think of how fucked up your kids would be then!! :D

mom said...

hello jason! maybe His aim was right since i think you said you are not going to smoke on your porch anymore during thunderstorms and He was showing you what He can do with His lightning. if i had control over the lightning i would say i was on a roll with this whole thing put i am not so i will still say beware! :) i am glad you are ok and i should say i am glad hawthorne is doing his best to protect you and rich from anything! :) thats my granddog!! :) i told dad he needed to read this. :) well, got to go and run my sweeper since my dog is shedding up a storm! love and prayers

Sylvia said...

Ok, maybe this is the wrong reaction, but I laughed so freakin' hard! I couldn't stop laughing when I was reading about your third near death experience.
Although, I'm sure at the time, it was NO laughing matter.
I'm glad you're alright...and I'm sure glad that Rich is soooo strong. LOL
Anyway, despite mom's belief, I sincerely think that no single person could survive a lightning matter what anybody says. In fact, on one single bolt of lightning, you could run an entire city for a month or something like that. (that's me being a scientist...lame, I know)
=) I make a better massage therapist than I do a scientist.
Glad you're doing alright.
Love ya lots!
ps hi mom! We tried the "you know what" here and I'm crossing my fingers that this will work...But, there won't be enough to last 22 we ordered another kit tonight...

Jason Hughes said...

I remember a certain someone calling me an dtelling me I wasn't aloud to be cryptic on my blog.. Something about "eggs in a basket" ring a bell?

What is it and why does it take 22 days?!?!?!?

I mean, you're killing me here, Red...

Sylvia said...

call me and I'll be happy to share with's a little too personal to be talking about, it's not a bad thing...just something that everybody deals with at least once in their life times...

Kel said...'re the only one I know who would turn "Mary Lou Retton" into a verb!! HAHAHA

I think your experience was a gift from the Blogger Gods so you'd have a kickass entry!!

Oh, and I'm glad you're still alive. :)

DaBich said...

Holy Crap! Whether or not it was a warning from God Himself, I'm just glad you're ok, Jason. Way to go Rich!
Jason, did your life flash in front of your eyes along with that flash of lightning???

Jason Hughes said...

LOL!! No, my life didn't flash before my eyes... I think the electrical surge erased that part of the tape... :D