6/30/2010
War of the worlds

"Ortigas right now?" Michelle tweeted. "A scene right out of War of the Worlds."

I looked out to the window in my office. Yes, I have access to the window again, and while the view isn't really inspiring - it's just a wall - it's still helpful. When I'm not sure about the weather, I just look out and determine whether I should bring an umbrella or not. Then again, it's sometimes a matter of remembering to look out of the window, probably because I haven't had access to the window for more than a year. For the past two weeks I had to climb up for that umbrella.

Anyway, Michelle's tweet. I looked out to the window in my office. It's already five in the afternoon, but the skies look like it's already six. It's raining terribly hard. I could figure out that much, since it's really, really dark outside.

"It's so dark outside, it's crazy!" she told me. "I can't see the office window. Like someone boarded it up."

Indeed, that was the case. I started hearing about really low visibility in the Makati area, and naturally, the floods that came after. I texted my dad, wondering if I could go home with him: he wasn't in his office, so I'll have to take the shuttles home. I worried about having to walk out of the office, wearing a jacket, holding an umbrella, and still getting really, really wet.

And then I go out of the building at six in the evening, and the rain has died down. It's still dark, but it's not as dark as it was earlier. Sensibly, I only had my umbrella out.

The same thing happened the next day. "Ortigas war of the worlds again," she tweeted. I look outside, and the scenario was the same as the day before: it's as dark as night time, except for the occasional lightning. This time, there weren't any reports of low visibility in Makati. More importantly, I wasn't texting my dad.

"From where I am it just looks dark," I told her.

"It was darker earlier," she said. "Not so bad now."

I don't think I even brought out my umbrella.

There's something weird about the rainy season this year. It isn't raining hard. I remember leaving the office a month ago, wondering about what will happen when June rolls along. It'll start raining terribly again, and I'll trudge my way through the usual sidewalks, hopelessly perhaps, since my pants will get wet anyway. Human weather report wet. Instead, we get drizzles just when you prepare for the worst. So far, at least.

The other weird thing about the rainy season this year is the prevalence of thunderstorms. Many times it doesn't rain, or at least it doesn't where I am. I'll just see flashes of light from the sky, popping in and out quite often. I'll walk the usual sidewalks (without an umbrella) and I'll see a lightning bolt from out of nowhere, and I'll wonder if it'll rain as I walk. It doesn't happen until I'm close to sleeping.

A couple of weeks back thunder struck the front of our house. And by that, I mean an actual lightning bolt hitting the hood of our car, with sparks visible from the window of our house. It's strong enough to trigger the burglar alarm of another car. It's scary enough to have the entire family turn off most of the electricity in the house, for five minutes at least. In my case, it's also scary enough to give me these thoughts while walking out on the streets, fresh from the store: what if lightning kills me right now?

Lightning doesn't hit the same place twice, after all. Or so they say. It hasn't struck our home before, and since I have sixty years of life to live - I arrived at that figure, assuming I'm having my quarterlife crisis right now - there's enough time for me to be killed by lightning. Not that it's got me cowering whenever it happens, though. Well, maybe when Michelle's metaphors actually mean something once I leave the office.

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