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May. 11th, 2004

I hear the thunder in the distance. At first, I'm not even sure whether it's thunder, or heavy trucks, or something at the airport. But it gets closer and closer, and then the rain starts. As I get ready for bed, I begin to see the flashes of lightning. I count, one... two... three... four... five... CRASH. And it's getting closer.

I climb into bed as the worst of the storm hits. The lightning flashes, bright enough to light the whole room. The thunder crashes violently, shaking small items all around the room and leaving the blinds quivering. I consider getting up to close the window, but it wouldn't make much difference anyway. I don't want to get near the window right now anyway, as the strikes are within two miles.

I never used to be afraid of the thunderstorms as a child. I would stand out on the porch with my father, watching, counting, rating the quality of the booms. Sometimes we'd go out and play in the rain. There was nothing frightening about it, because I was with my daddy so of course it was safe. I watched thunderstorms with friends in college, freshman year, standing on the Welch-Holloway porch. I can't recall when my fear began. I only know that now, as much as I still love to watch and listen to the storm, it terrifies me also.

So, I huddle in the corner of my bed, buried in my nest of pillows. I want someone to reassure me, to talk me through this, for I know the storm will be gone before long. But I'm an adult, strong and independent. I'd feel a fool to call someone with my childish fears, let alone call after midnight when everyone's asleep. Half awake, half asleep, reluctant to turn out the light, I am uncomfortably aware of my own mortality. And I count, one... two... three... until the storm has moved away.