Magical Realism, Writing, Fiction, Politics, Haiku, Books

martes, septiembre 14, 2010

Tropical Storm Karl Coming Soon (To Me)

Please pardon the extremely low tech, wordy approach this extremely brief essay takes. I'm writing it "borrowing" Internet from my neighbor (who is away), so my laptop is sitting on the barbecue (no, it's not on) while I write this. I will not regale you (sorry for the wind pun) with why I don't have my own Internet this evening.

I'm in Bahia Soliman, which is just north of Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico. This afternoon I (and probably everyone else in the world who cares about this) learned that what we following as Invest 92 had indeed attained Tropical Storm Status (TST) and was now named TS Karl. TS Karl, the computer models and other models (imagine I had posted a map of that right here) is planning to come through the front door of my house tomorrow morning or afternoon. What's that mean? Who knows: it probably means up to 50 knot winds and up to 8" of rain. Knots, I am reliably told, are bigger than miles.

On one level, I consider this retribution. I have been working on my novel, working title "Tulum," here for more than a week. I am working in what IB Singer called the "literary factory," i.e. I write and I take breaks, I write and I take breaks, repeat and repeat again ad infinitum. So it is I who wrote the Hurricane scenes in the book, and now I have "called" in a real storm with my maniacal focus on storms. It's "the law of attraction" gone crazy, if you will. Or it's the Damapada. I am what I think, and I've been thinking a lot about TS's and Hurricanes, if you will. If you won't, fine, but it's thundering as I type this.

On another level, I consider this a study in how most people in the US don't give a rat's ass about what happens in Mexico. They and their media are obsessing about what will happen when the storm leaves the Yucatan Peninsula and heads towards South Texas. If TS Karl decides instead to come ashore (again) in Mexico the story won't merit a 1" column on page 23 of your local newspaper. But if it should head for Texas, there will be guys with slickers standing in the surf and reporting every 3 minutes on what it feels like.

Hell, I can tell you "what it feels like." And I'm not wearing one of those jackets. It feels like tomorrow the weather is really gonna suck here. High wind, lots of rain, high tides, flooding. You've seen it before on TV, right? It makes a mess of things.

I have taken my book, all almost 80,000 words of it, and saved the entire thing on two key drives, and put them in a safe, where they will be dry, no matter what. I will also put this 10 year old lap top, whose aging memory also contains my book, in a safe place. Everything of value is in a place where it cannot get ruined. By wind. By water. By anything. Everything that's not tied down is likely to end up in the next state, which is Campeche, and in Mayan means, the place of snakes and scorpions. In other words, you will not likely retrieve any of it.

Meanwhile, many of us stand on the beach looking at the lightning, listening to the wind, watching the tide.

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