Before the first summer storm, I become a paradox.
In theory, I revel in the idea of having absolutely nothing to do – no one to see, nowhere to go, and no plans on the agenda. But the reality is far more ridiculous; my normal daily life of work and school has conditioned me to exist within structured time frames and schedules, to constantly move and produce. So when I do find myself momentarily without direction, the elements of my day break down, and I become a restless mess.
This feeling is only heightened as dark, rain-soaked clouds first drape themselves ominously and sluggishly over the blue summer sky – just as they have all day long here in Madison. The air becomes a hot, wet blanket, and I feel intensly both the desire to be pathetically lazy and to run around (or out of) town. My frustrations and wanderlust bubble up, and express themselves in endless sighs.
I wait for it to rain. Anxiously I anticipate the moment when the heavens will open with a thunderclap and release an ocean of cool, heavy drops. I crave the second when something will happen, when the muggy, stagnant air will be flooded away.
Perhaps it is a metaphor for my urge to simply go – to travel, to be on the road. There comes a point when reading travel blogs, listening to Rolf Potts’ advice, and drooling over images on flickr becomes just too much: there’s only so-much vicarious living one can take before he needs the real macoy.
Before the storm, I do a balancing act with my ideals; I try to remember that life is to be lived in the present and not in the anticipation of the next step, while still gripping dearly my future aspriations. My nerves become a rope, tensly pulled between then and now.
Then something snaps – like a bolt of lightning dividing air – and it starts to pour. A roaring shower birthed from heat, wind and a mere trickle.
And I breathe a little easier.