I could feel it coming. I had just gotten out of the shower, just washed away the sweat of the hot hot Friday, when I could just feel it. A storm was coming.
Stepping outside onto the back porch, the wind had started to swirl. The skies had turned ominous. I think, then, everyone knew it was coming.
The heat broke in a spectacular fashion as the heavens opened up and poured out rain. The winds were like the breath of God, battering tents and outside encampments.
After closing and locking all the windows, we all rushed to help who we could, bringing in tenters’ things, trying to dismantle the outside bar, and tossing folks chairs into our cabin.
And then came the hail. Beating on my back, along with the heavy rain, I almost couldn’t believe it. Nature was not happy with us this evening. When it became too much, when my bare skin cried for an end, a ran back inside, hoping we’d done enough.
The power went out. I clung to my crank flashlight. I was still naked, now drenched again.
As I looked around our cabin, I realized not everyone was present. Where were SkinnyBitch & DeepEnd? They’d left for a walk before the storm started. Alice thought she saw SkinnyBitch take an umbrella.
And then my thoughts drifted to all the others I cared about. Where were Big Bro & Slut? Where were Gray & his companion? I texted; no answer.
I started freaking out. Where are my friends? Are they okay? 900 people and no power.
I laid on my bed, gripping Tessie tight, my flashlight still on, rocking myself back and forth.
I got a text; Gray checking in. A part of me was relieved.
SkinnyBitch & DeepEnd returned; they had taken refuge in a friend’s cabin. Even more relief.
And then DeepEnd talked of the reactions of the men in the cabin: seeing tree branches fall on tents and immediately running out to see if there were any people inside.
I got very angry. Yes, he was okay. I could see he was okay. But what if one of the very large falling trees had fallen on him. He hadn’t run out on purpose; it was reaction. It was one of the reasons why he was a good friend, that instinct to help others. Still, I wanted to smack him.
I laid back on my bed. I was still waiting for a check-in from Big Bro & Slut. Nothing.
I heard people talking of another front coming. Inside, I panicked.
And then I stopped. I heard people laughing and joking. There was mention of alcohol.
Yes, I need to drink. Drinking sounds good. But something else. What else would soothe me? Rope.
I pulled out my gifted hemp and wrapped it around my chest, waist, and thigh. I donned my kimono, which I’d never worn before, along with its obi. I pulled back my hair, securing it tightly in a bun. The constriction of the rope on my body, the obi around my waist, and my hair pulled back made me feel better.
I cracked open a can of Sparx and joined my cabinmates outside.
People chatted, laughed, drank, smoked. I sat, listening, trying to feed off their lighthearted energy.
DeepEnd pulled me aside and showed me something I would appreciate: an incredibly large wolf spider in the back of our next door cabin.
Having freed myself from our home, I decided to go visit friends. I made my way to another cabin, sat, and chatted with Lochai, Trailsinner, Bendy, Gray, and other friends. They had cigars and alcohol; I had a torch and a flashlight.
When word of the storm front’s clearing passed around camp, I felt immense relief.
I wondered to the Dungeon, where some lights were on. The building was running off a generator. Inside I saw wayward campers. The members of Oink had been displaced, a very large tree having fallen right on top of their home.
I sat with those I knew, everyone looking exhausted or frustrated. News of progress for leaving camp filtered in. First trees that blocked the path were getting cut down. Then power lines that had fallen needed to be safely moved. It was projected they wouldn’t be able to leave for hours.
They settled into waiting more. Cards Against Humanity was pulled out (good call Lqqkout). It used up some of the time. Sweets and snacks were passed around.
And then, mercifully, Big Bro and Slut walked into the Dungeon, soaking wet, with others from the NYC Rope Bomb Crew. They had been bombing when the storm hit, people strung up in trees, with high wind and rain as their adversaries.
The power was out, trees were down, and a half dozen cars were smashed. But thankfully no one, not a bomber, not an Oink member, no attendee was injured. My friends were okay.
The storm had harmed, but not hurt.
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