Today is my 11th day in Peru
I wrote this back in ’95. Severe weather was always a favorite topic for my mind to tinker with…
I was walking down my hallway to my room. The narrowness of the corridor nearly suffocated me as I traveled. I could see the walls moving by me but the end of the hall didn’t appear to be getting any closer. It had been a good day. I had found a stray monkey on the Methodist Church steps and given him back to his owner who had pasted “Reward – lost pet” flyers on every telephone pole, streetlight and road sign in Miami. And, being a true Miamian, the man did not reward me in cash as I’d hoped, but something a little greener and definitely more flammable. Huh, strange, there hung a thick humidity in the hallway. Air conditioning must be down again.
I opened my door, switched on the light, checked a look in the mirror and flipped on the air. It worked. Good thing because I needed a smoke and without the air, the illegality of my actions would be found. I fumbled through my pockets for my lighter while locating the toilet paper cardboard / salt shaker / aluminum device a friend had constructed for me. Where the hell was my lighter? Shit. Looked like a stove ignition would be necessary. I grabbed a candle, left my room, faintly noted the increasing humidity in my hallway and traveled to the kitchen where I lit my candle on a medium/high coil setting. Back to my quarters. You know, there seemed to be a slight fog developing in the hallway now and dew appeared to form on my body as I walked through it. Very strange. But on to more important things. Using the candle, I floated away for a while…
CRACK!…a splintering, and CRACK!
I awoke startled and traumatized.
Such noises from my hallway. I took the towel from the crack under my door and opened it. The strong smell of ozone – but even better, a huge gust of wind. Not a breeze, a gust. Rain fell in torrents. I closed my door and stood there for what must’ve been at least 6 minutes.
What the hell is going on here? I looked through my peep hole and saw what appeared to be a funnel cloud in my hallway. As I watched, the funnel dropped to the floor and…this wasn’t happening. After it passed, I again opened my door and this time bravely entered the hallway. I was drenched and nearly knocked off my feet. Above me, rippling thunderheads peeked then dropped resulting in yet another cloudburst and bolts of lightning, one almost hitting me. There was no mention of this, not on the Weather Channel, the news, not on the school calendar.
The wind once again made me lose my balance and I fell back into my rom, the door slamming after me from the great suction of low pressure. I’ll just wait til it passes, I thought. Strangely enough, no wather accumulated on the floors. I again thought of the monkey, his strange humming and the knowing look when we parted. I drifted into a sleep and didn’t wake up until much later.
The hallway was clear. A faint rainbow still resided out there and a few fair weather clouds floated high near the ceiling. I was suddenly drawn down the hall out the main exit, across the great lawns and ended up back on the church stairs. The monkey signs were still up all over and I almost wished I could see him again. But he never came back. I sat on the steps and felt the coolness of the concrete on my ass through my shorts. A breeze passed by but nothing like before in the hallway. Still, I remained alone. The memories of the monkey drifted wearily farther away – as did my consciousness.
I regained my capacities as evening was making itself known. I looked around & saw that the “Reward…” signs were gone. All of them. I was still alone, but my mind kept me company.