I am an idiot. I’ll admit it front and center. When reportedly THREE tornadoes blew through the Pioneer Valley I was none the wiser. Literally. Okay, so it was raining buckets when I left work. Okay, so it was so windy I had to keep ten and two on the wheel at all times. Okay, so I white knuckled it a few times. Okay, so people were jumping out of their cars *in the middle of driving* to take pictures of something in the sky. Me, I thought it was all bad weather and maybe there was a lovely double rainbow in the midst of all this black clouds and green sky. I just gritted my teeth as I navigated around the abandoned cars and flying debris and kept driving. I just wanted to get home. My ten hour day was turning into too long.
When I got home it started to hail. I stepped in cat puke the moment I walked in the door. My phone was ringing off the hook, Kisa was still at work, and the answering machine had five messages. Jones had done his skid routine on the carpet. I was in no mood for any of it so when Kisa called I bit his head off. He snapped right back, “get in the basement.” What?! What do you mean ‘get in the basement? Is this some new form of spousal abuse? Suddenly I realized there was real concern in his voice when he said, “I have been calling you and calling you.”I was really listening when he said, “there was a tornado in Springfield. It touched down in the south end.” I had driven through it and was none the wiser.
When another tornado was rumored to be heading our way Kisa called back urging me to visit the Brains, our basement command center. It’s a fortress that I guess now doubles as a bomb shelter. I balked. I still didn’t feel (or fear) the danger. I wanted to stay in front of our huge picture window and watch the torrent of rain rip through our retaining wall. I wanted to witness the golf ball sized hail hit my vehicle. I wanted to watch the young trees bend to the ground and the roses disintegrate into a sea of pink petals. For once I wasn’t afraid of the wind. I was oblivious to the severity of the situation.
People have died in this storm. Hundreds are homeless. Neighboring colleges are severely damaged. Somehow it missed me and mine in every possible way. And to think I thought it was a rainbow. Really? A rainbow. At the time I didn’t want Glenda; I had no wish for ruby red slippers. I wouldn’t have known I needed them anyway. Oblivion.