The NERVOUS STOMACH Series: Ego-Strategy 21 — FLOOD

Posted: August 18, 2013 in The NERVOUS STOMACH Series

Monday, March 03, 2008

The NERVOUS STOMACH Series: Ego-Strategy 21 — FLOOD
Current mood: loving the warm weather

I’m thirty and home from work early because of the gorgeous weather outside — sixty-four degrees.  My manager let us go at three, something she normally would not do unless there was a fire in the building or Ed McMahon showed up to give her a million dollars.  But we haven’t seen the sun for about three months in our lake-side town, so even she is mesmerized by its shine. 

I crack open a beer and invite Cooper, my fluffy Eskimo dog out onto the back patio.   I pop on my headset, we drink in the rays, and all is well with the world.  Until a text appears on my Treo screen: Flood Warning.  Melting snow floods lake’s banks.  Emergency evacuation.  And a list of just three streets in peril.  Mine is one of them.   

Cooper and I race down the driveway, but we’re too late.  A wall of water comes at us from the north.  Fortunately, all of my neighbors are still at work.

“Cooper,” I scream as the frigid wave bears down.  It’s taller than my SUV, taller than the balcony on my second-story, taller than the new roof I had installed last December (by a hunky crew of twenty-somethings from the local tool exchange.)  The only structure on my street that the wave does not appear to dwarf is the historic oak on the corner of (ironically) Elm Street and Miller Ave. 

The tree grows out of Miller’s Mound — some guy named Miller planted it back in the 1800s.  Something about the soil agreed with it; it grew huge.  Big enough to be  featured on the Sienna Club’s Web site and even a PBS NOVA special.  Today, I don’t care about its fame, I care about its height.

Grabbing Cooper by his pudgy belly (he’s been munching and sleeping quite a bit this winter, not unlike me) I sprint down the street.  I can feel the humidity of the spray on the back of my neck.  Reaching the tree, I calculate that I have about twelve seconds before the water pulverizes both of us.

Next to Miller’s Mound is Miller’s Park, where they’ve used public funds to build one of those funky kids’ playgrounds.  The kind with curvy tunnels, artsy benches, and a huge bungee-jumping court.  Balancing Cooper under my left arm, I grab one of the bungees and leap.   

As the water descends, we ascend, swinging a lazy, powerful arc to the top of Miller’s Oak.  I grab for one of the highest branches and cling.

After the death toll is miraculously tallied at zero, after the houses on my street dry out, after Oprah features me, Cooper, and Miller’s great-great grand-daughter on her show, Cooper and I head back to my patio for a beer, headphones, and a flood of much-desired sunshine. 


Currently   listening :
  Moon Over the   Freeway
  By The Ditty Bops
  Release date: By 23 May, 2006     

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