Monday, July 03, 2006

Rider on the Storm

I left my brother Ken's place in Lincoln Park at a quarter to midnight. I was a little drunk on beer and wine. A little. No stagger. A pleasant buggy buzz. Okay, I did run into the side of a very stationary newspaper box. A glancing blow. No harm, no foul.

Red line to Washington. Ask a street cleaner where Ogilvie Transportation Center is and he directs me. Chicago never fails to live up to its reputation as one of the world's friendliest cities.

Took the last Metra train to Elburn, set to arrive after 2 a.m. In Geneva the conductor called out to me to make sure I was awake. One other guy got off with me. By this time, I'm no longer even buzzing, just tired, dozey. I'm in no mood to ride the 22 miles back to DeKalb, but figure I can do it half asleep if I just pedal and don't think about it.

The ride started out under star cover as I rode through a quiet neighborhood to Keslinger Road. But by the time I got to Kaneland High School, about 5 miles in, I noticed lightning flashes off in the distance ahead of me. I looked up and saw the fast-moving fingerlings of approaching clouds.
I love summer storms. And to see a storm at night amongst rolling, seemingly endless vistas of corn, from so far a distance, is a real treat.

The light show came closer. A dank, humid wind swirled towards the storm. Another batch of lightning sprang forth from the south, closer than the western advance. Bolts flashed horizontal cataracts across the horizon. Thunder was a distant rumble, a dog growling under the porch. One one thousand two one thousand three...

I picked up my pace and thought I might make it home dry, but right after I turned north on Hwy. 23 rain, heavy rain, fell with surprising immediacy. No warning drizzle. Just whoomph. I stopped, dripping, under the I-88 overpass and put my cell phone in my rain jacket pocket. The rain jacket made obsolete by sudden precipitation.

Back at Country Acres, changed and dried, I stood in the hallway and listened to the storm for awhile before going to bed.

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