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Eye of The Storm
  Sometimes there are those moments in life when you look around and say to yourself, "What the hell is going on? Everything is so fucking WEIRD right now."

Weird in the sense that everything feels completely surreal. Surroundings shift in the slightest way but cause a giant unfamiliarity. Potent stuff, this weirdness.

On Friday there was a hail storm. A hail storm like none I've seen before. The day was beautiful. Sunshine. Birds. Blue bonnets. Fresh and clean. Soft clouds in the blue sky. Then it became night. No more sun. In the darkness, the puffy clouds grew claws and fangs and ripped open this pocket of wind, ice, rain.

I was with my improv troupe, about to warm up for a show. Out of no where, we're bombarded by the thunderous sound of the tin roof being pelted by large, frozen baby Jesus tears. We ran to the front door, opened it and the sight of leaves, ice, mist made the jaw drop in awe. A couple of us pressed our faces against the giant front window, eyes wide. I stuck my arm out to feel the sting of ice pellets hitting like the needle of a manic tattoo artist. Two brave souls jumped out for the full body experience. Within 3 seconds they were soaked and slightly bruised.

Across the way, Princess was stuck in it. He'd gone to his car to roll up his windows and the moment he opened the car door, the storm hit. We could barely make out his siloutte stammering about with a weakening umbrella. Soon it was impossible to see three feet in front of us. Within minutes, a layer of hail coated the sidewalk. Small streams with minature whirlpools created banks of cigarette butts and leaves. Letters from the marquee above dropped to the ground spelling out "HBI4." HBI4: so fucking weird.

As quickly as the clouds ripped themselves open, they sewed themselves up and proceeded to their next victim. Mother Nature flashed us her naughty bits and moved on.

Princess staggers in, babbling. Arms flailing as he regaled us with descriptions of windshields vibrating with each hit, sticks crashing against the metal, wondering if the glass around him was going to imlode. He fell to the floor of the stage and rolled around, leaving imprints of wet hair, shirt, arms, pants all over. Paper towels were fetched and Princess quickly pacified his trembles with a Camel Light. "I was so scared" he later revealed after a couple of whiskey shots.

Saturday I fell. And I'm not a faller. I have excellent balance. I'm very good at walking and not falling at the sametime. But Saturday I bit it hard. Slipped on some wet steps in the classic cartoon style: legs in the air above the head, arms splayed, expression of confusion on the face. Landed on the wet steps with the bony parts of my ass and back and arm. I quickly got up to make sure I wasn't paralyzed. The burning sensation told me that my spine was indeed in tact and was transmitting signals of pain to the brain per usual. "Fuck that hurt."
Princess was there and instantly asked if I was all right. I said yes and he asked again to make sure. Yes. Then Princess asked if I could sue for something like that. I said my ass hurt.

I had somehow bruised the inside of my ass crack. I don't like the way it feels. At all. Not on my favorite things to feel list.

This afternoon I was standing in the backyard. There's some construction going on behind our house. We'd been notified that the back fence would be torn away and replaced at a later date. Today was the first day I noticed it. Lipman says it's been like that for a couple days.

Standing there was weird. The grass was all lush under my feet, but yards away there was nothing but mud tangled with rusted aluminum siding and chunks of mutilated concrete. A single shoe had somehow survived and sat footless, like a forgotten soldier. And then there's the grave yard.

There's a grave yard for the state's mental health hospital a couple yards behind our house. It's a pretty sad sight. A few gravestones here and there can be seen from far away, but once you walk about it, you see rows and rows of small pewter circles with an ID number and a date of death below it. When a patient dies while in the hospital and no one appears to claim his body, they cremate it, put it in a small grave and mark it with the pewter circle. This insures the confidentiality of the patient as well as the patient's family. It's damn depressing, but in the spring lightening bugs collect over it, flashing their butts making a low budget laser show for passers-by to see.

Watching this, taking in the reality of my once familiar surroundings, threw a shift in my Matrix.

Weird things are happening around me, to me, clinging to my face like an abandoned spider web. What I have to do is just remain calm, ride it out, and see how I come out at the end.

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Copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 L.Leroy