The rush of a mighty wind
Pentecost at the Columbia
I stood in a phone booth on the bank of the river, trying to make a phone call with my voice out hoarse from sickness and lack of sleep but the wind wanted to blow away the business card with his number written on the back. I tried to huddle down, hunch over clutching the phone between my shoulder and my ear, tried to read the numbers now rubbed out smooth and shiney.
You sound, my friend said, like a 50 cent whore and through the phone feedback I can hear the roar of the wind, coming down the Columbia to this bridge. The bridge is the longest I've ever seen, right in the middle of the state, coming out of the high rumpled hills in a curve on the East to an arch off-center and then low sloping straight to this gas station. Vantage, WA. He can't hear me above the noise so I only say my name and tonight, really loud, and hang up.
I have never seen a wind like this, where it seems like everything will fly away, blowing down so violent that even the compact cars struggle to stay straight in their lanes. This is the wind children draw as an old-man cloud with puffed out cheeks puffing gray lines. I walked across the parking lot like a drunk man, 9 in the morning and I'm staggering against the force of it. It's like I need, I think, a new way to walk.
(See also Ash Wednesday)