I was interviewed by KATU today, at my work. Myself and two other people were standing outside when the tornado hit. I keep thinking about it. Even though it's long over.
I don't know. I keep going from fine and dandy to being horrible afraid.
I keep thinking of the could have beens. Which is silly because really what does it matter. In the end it didn't happen that way. But I keep thinking of how it was then, the way it happened so fast and I didn't think about what I did in my life, I just thought, well I think I might die. Like, that's it. That strangeness would be done. I would be over. And I had no thoughts or doubts or joy. Just staring at the sky and thinking of birds. That's strange. Horribly strange. Birds. My last thoughts would be, "God, I swear I thought it was just birds." That's my last mortal thought.
Or would have been. My face was pressed against chain link, and I can still feel the coolness of the metal, my back was pressed against the dumpster, I can still feel the hard down pour of rain and the smell of garbage and decay still lingers like wild in my nose. Like it's trapped there. The ground shaking and the world moving and I was there in a dumpster, red cart and dirty glasses thinking, "God, I swear I thought it was just birds." Like those fluttering careless pieces of debris were my undoing, my downfall, my death in useless flightless birds. And it happened in moments, seconds, in no time. Because there was moving and not thinking. Breathlessness but not breathing. Forgetting but still remembering enough to move. And there was wind still blowing and my body pressed against it. Like fighting the unknown. Like trying and moving but getting no where, until you are. And you're not quite sure how you did it at all. Only that it's dry, even as your still wet. It's calm, even if everything is so fast and going, you still can't see.
It's then that you see someone push hard against the wind and think for a blind strange moment. That he could die and you could die and that it's all for birds and swirling clouds.
You think of that trailer tipped down and those cars that are still moving and trash soaring like birds.
And so when it's over, you laugh. Your face stretched tight and you feel almost giddy. You giggle because it's still just trash when it's over. Because despite the loss of a few charms you're alive and well and not gone. So you're body is tight and her heart is beating so so fast, like a constant heavy reminder that you're okay. So it's funny. It's wild. It's exciting.
Then you remember, birds and moving earth. About how you knew, those twirling clouds weren't right. How you saw birds when there were none. How it was over so fast but it's still there like metal on your face and rain on your head. Like stench in your nose. How it's there and you're fine but how you might not have been. How all it would have taken is a moment. A second and it's gone. You and your dreams. You and them. You and all of it. Even though you have no idea what 'all of it' means.
So you shudder and you cry and you worry and you can't say why. Not really because the words don't make much sense, beyond afraid, strange and birds. The words are right, even as you are not.
But you laugh when people do, and you answer questions, even though the answers seem silly. It's rain and it's fast and it's wind. It's over like that to.
And it's been hours and nothing should be wrong. But it is. Like birds that are not birds and skies that spin. You're still stuck there. Watching and seeing and not moving. Just for that second. That moment.
And you think. "God, I swear it was just birds."