Antsy and restless, my wife and I awaited an event.
We were seated in chairs outdoors, on a corner, by a dark sea. She was across from me. A sharp, blustery wind and leaden sky frequently pierced by sunshine highlighted a roiling, uneven intensity.
The mood I felt permeated a growing crowd. Roving gangs and knots of teenagers prowled, seeking outlets and distractions. I frequently looked to the horizon, waiting for the change that we feared and expected. A young woman who I vaguely knew came and sat on my lap. First she tried cajoling me into buying her a car. My wife, opposite, made snarky comments about the girl to friends. The girl annoyed me. She then tried seducing me, pushing my annoyance to the point that I removed her, and got up to walk.
The girl followed me, making comments. I decided it would be important for us to have water for what was to come and went to find some. My search brought me to a welcome center. Made mostly of clean bright white plastic, a lone, awkward appearing manned the place.
He spoke to me but I mostly ignored him. Multiple water dispensers existed but there weren’t any containers. I found a tin thing which I repurposed, then filled it. I tasted the water; it was fine. Looking at it, I discovered fine black sediment suspended in it. Pouring that water out, I cleaned the vessel, refilled it, and hurried back to the corner.
The event seemed to be beginning. We all gathered, standing to watch the ocean. A tall dark storm lit by silvery white backlight sprawled across the horizon. As a general said, “Here it comes. It’s bigger than expected,” a stern wind struck.
Although the wind rocked me back, his comments soothed me. I was happy that it was finally beginning. The general said, “It’s going to take longer to come because it’s bigger than expected.”
I was nodding because I was okay with that. Now that it was beginning, everyone relaxed and watched. Drinking crystal clear water from my tin, I waited.