Synaesthesia Magazine Thunder, Lightning - Page 43

“It crashed, pulling the tent down around him, pinning him, trapping him” I have always loved storms. There’s a flash of the transcendent when nature turns violent. As a child, when a brewing storm was in the air, I would want to run out into the yard, stand in the yellow-green other-worldly light, and hold my breath, waiting for what I knew was coming, then dance and whirl when the huge fat raindrops began to fall. Even now, remembering being a kid eager in the eerie silence before the storm, at a crack of thunder I imagine music, want to take lessons in tribal drumming, long to invoke and participate in the upheaval. My father was always careful about storms. During my childhood, if a storm loomed while he was at work, I could run out into the yard, raise my arms in holy glee, and welcome the power of it into my neighborhood, my yard, my space, my life. But if a storm arose after Dad was home from work, or on a weekend—well, forget it. We’d have to go down into the basement with a transistor radio. We could play Hearts. If it was cool enough, we could light a fire in the basement fireplace, even roast marshmallows. But mostly, we had to tiptoe around Dad’s anxiety about storms, listen to weather reports, wait for him to proclaim it safe to go back upstairs. There was a storm in his growing up. I do not remember a time when I did not know this story. In his Alzheimer’s years, Dad kept coming back to it, kept telling the story with more and more gaps. I have come to know the gaps as much as the story. In the story, my dad was a teenager. He and his brother and I think an uncle or perhaps a cousin (why didn’t I listen more carefully?) had driven up north, had pitched tents, were camping. There was this storm. A big storm, a violent storm, a scary storm, while they were in tents. A tree fell, perhaps struck by lightning. If it had fallen a few inches over, it would have killed the young man who in that case would not have become my father. It crashed, pulling the tent down around him, pinning him, trapping him. I don’t remember how long he was trapped in his tiny tent. But he got out, > Photograph by Tom Darin Liskey. Liskey spent nearly a decade working as a journalist in Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil. His first collection of stories, This Side of The River, was published in August 2014.