I would be remiss to classify any of the weekends I have with Jason as normal. Even during our anticipated downtime, we somehow manage to instigate things and converse about things that set the day delightfully topsy-turvy. Nothing is ever expected and nothing is ever, ever dull. Perhaps some of our inability to prophetize is due to our excitement and newness with each other, but it seems more likely that it is simply our two complimentary beings colliding. This weekend was of course, no exception.
On Saturday afternoon we found ourselves gallivanting through Raleigh with our dear friend Amy. She and I are known throughout the Philippines as “The Twin Towers” and also seem to attract chaos, complexity and entertainment at every turn. This human trifecta could only be interesting.
We three had all watched the weather report earlier and knew that precipitation was our future. Sure, there were talks of severe winds and inclement storms and tornadoes, but we took that news with a light-hearted attitude. The last time that the three of us were together in NYC, we experienced unprecedented winds, so we figured there was little that could get blown at us that we hadn’t felt before. HA! As Amy later said, our combined personalities seemingly fuel and anger the weather gods. We three have a little Dorothy in us.
With that said, we prepared for the threat of historic storms by bringing coats.
We should have realized that things were turning for the worse when the outdoor festival we were attending was suddenly dismantled and people began fleeing. The organizers were literally yanking the chairs out from under us. So instead of going home and seeking shelter, we wandered on over to Hargett Street and the Raleigh Times. The skies opened up during our one drink there, and then there was an eerie clarity and silence. Now I grew up in Wisconsin and have spent many a time cowering in a basement, so I know what that means. The tornadoes are a coming. So we used that little break as a sign that we should walk down to The Landmark Tavern.
Now the Landmark holds a special place for Jason and me. We never fail to be memorable there and I seem to find my relationship courage at the bottom of their glasses. Most nights find us huddled together and animatedly discussing the future of the world and our place in it. I’ve had some of my most lucid and life-changing conversations within those walls.
So it was rather apropos that on those barstools we sat watching the weather on the TV and on our phones. We were still in denial of our doom, so we kept laughing about the pending non-event and telling tales of our prior weather adventures. Then it actually began around us.
We could physically feel the pressure change, and then the winds picked up, the electricity went out, and there was debris whipping around past the windows. All of a sudden the doors blew open and needed to be bolted shut. It was slightly past 4pm and became pitch black outside. Dorothy and her merry men be warned. Once the tornado sirens began, the bartender calmly and loudly ushered us all into the women’s bathroom where we stood together under candlelight with drinks still in hand. Of course everyone brought their drink. If you are huddled in a bathroom with people you love, you might as well have a good cocktail to toast with.
The storm went past quickly and left its path of destruction through downtown and throughout North Carolina. 22 people died and 13 counties are now considered to be in a State of Emergency. For all those that lost something or someone on Saturday, you have my thoughts.
I certainly don’t discount the severity, but I can’t help but think…just a typical weekend…just a typical Sarah Saturday. And I love you both for sharing it.