Goodnight, Irene…

You left, Mad Irene, with a lot of noise.  I was afraid you would slip away, shrivelled up, your tail between your legs, so to speak, but you did not.  For a while, in the early evening, things had died down in my town though power had not been fully restored yet.  The town electricians were working at steadying the electricity pole opposite my house at least for a few hours.  They said they would come back after midnight to put a new pole in place of the menacingly crooked one.

During this lull, I thought you had simply gone away, retreated without a sound.  But I was wrong because after the power was restored, in the dark of the night, you made one last appearance, rattling the windows, swaying the trees that made an eerie sound, like a leave-taking.  Then you were gone, and everything was quiet.

Well, this morning I found out that the electricity pole had not been changed. In fact, they are working on it now.  But the real surprise (which was not a surprise, really) was how you fooled us all again, how you changed course, went against the predictions and the calculations.  You were fickle, capricious–the hallmarks of the truly (and divinely) mad, Mad Irene.  You slipped through our preparations and anxieties.

And though I told you yesterday to stay, I begged you to stay, you neither stayed nor left for good–which is also the mark of the truly irresolute, the indecisive. The news tells us that there will be more of your ilk descending on our Eastern shores in the coming months and perhaps years.  Something about warm waters and such.  If it is so, then we’d better be prepared–for your unpredictabilities and slippages, not to mention your madnesses.  Which would, in the end, serve us well also in our equally imperfect, at times broken down, and always mysterious  human spheres, wouldn’t it?

You are gone, Irene, or so we think.  The electricians are working outside, making a lot of noise.  They say we’ll have great weather this week, but they also say that you will return.  There’s nothing more furious, torrential and beautiful than the return of the one who has no accounts to settle!

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About Taline Voskeritchian

Writing teacher at Boston University; translator (from Arabic and Armenian); prose writer; occasional editor; incurable wanderer.
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