The wind’s blowing here on Chincoteague Island, Virginia. Is this the tropical storm that everyone’s talking about? Beryl? I don’t see any fog. And I definitely don’t see any rain. I don’t recall seeing any clouds but that’s only because last time I was outside, I was shielding my eyes, because they’re repaving the road and the wind is picking up all sorts of dust.
The flags are flapping, the trees are bending, the tidewater is churning, none of our computers are working very well, and last night, our tomato was bright red but today it’s moldy. Yes, the wind is blowing. But what are we going to do? How are we going to react? Well, we’re going to go to the mall in Norfolk, ninety miles away. Because at the mall in Norfolk there’s a Mac store, and there, they can tell us what’s wrong with our computers. I’m hoping they tell us the problem’s the wind, if only because, if they said that, I’d dramatically revise my world view.
(Alternate theory: We’re four male writers in one house. Maybe our computers coming down with problems all at the same time is kind of like how women who live in the same house get their periods all at the same time. This would count as a long shot, but, if it’s true, again, I’d revise my world view.)
(I don’t believe the wind has destroyed my computer. I believe that age has destroyed my computer. I’m thirty. My computer’s less than four. And I had it rebuilt a year ago after Dan Schmidt threw water all over my keyboard.)
(Ok. Here’s the point of this post. With The Weather you look out the window and write about it. You see wind, you have no choice: you’re onto a story called “Windy.” You see sun, you have no choice again, even if you live in East Hollywood where you see sun 350 days per year. So that’s what happened today. I looked out the window, I got dealt wind, I endured it, and then I arrived on Dan Schmidt.)
(Dan: I use your name not to blame you for destroying my computer, but because I think you deserve a place in my writing. So I hope that the positive feelings you feel at the sight of your own name on the internet override the negative feelings you feel upon being associated with my computer’s demise.)
Here’s the story that I arrived at after looking out the window and seeing wind:
Dan Schmidt and I drove from Georgia to California. Five months earlier we’d driven from Georgia to New Mexico. We were experts.
Or so I thought.
We went to these girls’ house. They gave us marijuana and beer and vegetarian food. We were in Las Cruces, close to the border. They had a pet lizard. They wanted to have sex with us.
Sometimes, though, you can tell they want to have sex with you, but wanting to have sex doesn’t translate actually all the way on its own and you’re kind of fumbling and talking too much about the lizard.
That’s where the marijuana and beer came into play.
And also the whiskey.
Everyone knows that marijuana and beer and whiskey mean something is going to go wrong.
(Even if that something wrong is so wrong it’s right.)
That’s when Dan threw a glass of water at my computer. That was when we drove six hours to Phoenix in silence to go to the Mac store. Luckily the Mac store restored my computer.
Unluckily it cost $800.
Hopefully that doesn’t happen again today in Norfolk.
Tom Dibblee is Trop’s editor. His fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train and his nonfiction has appeared in Pacific Standard, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Point. He lives in Los Angeles.