Rain and Sound

Last night amid rain, wind, and storm we watched my brother play football. My interest in the game cannot match my father’s immersed obsession; his impatience and anxiety before a game are akin to a junky awaiting his next fix. Unfortunately, as a hybrid man and geek, possessed with my father’s basic understanding of the game yet mired with my mother’s complete lack of interest, I can sympathize with the obsession but not obsess about the game. However, tonight was an exception. The opposing team had purchased an announcer.

Thankfully in the midst of this drought, the storm never abated. The rain came in waves, alternating drizzle with heavy downpour; the wind thundered in gales of spray and yellow leaves. I had brought one of my wide-rimmed hats (a peculiar penchant of mine) for just such an occasion; however, eventually the makeshift barriers of hats, towels, and umbrellas were invaded by rain and wind. Everyone got soaked. Yet the greasy eloquence of the voice announced the events of the game with such skilled bias that all discomfort was quickly forgotten. With each slip, sack, and fumble, I anticipated a new commentary. His voice, a strange inflection of Macho Man Randy Savage mixed with Duffman and the Kool-Aid guy, flowed from speakers with near-perfect melodrama and mounting tension. Each sentence crackled like a rock song, punctuated with a trailing grunt or groan. His diction splashed with corn and cheese too delicious to admonish:

“NUMber FIFTY-six SMOTHered by a HORRible SWARM of DONS [my brother’s team]”

“Oh and the KICK was BLOcked by a HOARD of RAMpaging Gauls [the opposing team], oooh-ahh uuhhhh,”

“The first-PLACE Dons trail the unRANKED Gauls by fourTEEN with EIGHT MINutes and FIFTY-seven SEConds left to PLAY in the HALF, OHhh YEah!

All in all, a fun night despite the weather.

The Sky at Dusk

Every now and then, my mind takes a fancy to description. Results vary, but experimenting with words and imagery typically end in something rather unique and beautiful in itself:

I watched so many beautiful shapes gather in the sky today. The sky was a blue and white canvas, foaming with gray mountains of cloud. Against this, black specks raced across clay rooftops; sparrows and mockingbirds like miniature rockets darted between orchards. Ten at a time. Hundreds of black birds sailing like ink soaked paper folded into the shape of jets along unseen waves from tree top to trunk to ground. Formless singing, squawking, buzzing, whirling, and clicking emanated from tangled branches like whistles of a thousand mechanical toys.

The bells of the nearby cathedral rings six. A train whistle bellows behind a stone castle, a noisy monster anxious to consume and move on. Underground passengers ignorant of the light-show in the sky.

Clouds float above like air-borne islands. Gray mittens warmed by a fire, glowing ever brighter as the darkness advances. Gossamer gloves, they are now, gathering heated balls of flame, as if creating new suns and trapped stars. Dawn may come twice tomorrow bringing two mornings, two awakenings, and two breakfasts. The Western sky now shatters into a million hues. The suns break with the color of melted cotton candy collected into pools of thermite red, jack o’ lantern orange, and bruise violet. Slowly they drain away over the horizon, leaving stains of darkness and the speckled fragments of broken crystal in its wake.