and i definitely can't stand hearing about all these little kids. thinking of them terrified in the hallway with a useless social studies book clasped to the tops of their heads. hearing a building tearing apart. being crushed. or drowned. i just keep crying. more missing, more missing. 9 children dead for now. more coming. more coming.
that's what they teach us down here. hunker under a 25 pound desk with a book on your head and pray to god. i'm not even kidding. this is how we practiced (minus the instruction to pray to god). when i was in elementary school, there wasn't even a hallway to go into. they didn't send you to the gym or the cafeteria. we schooled in a low-slung mid-century building on top of a hill... a string of classrooms with picture windows on either side. book shelves on the bottom and miles of non-safety glass on top. we would have been safer running down the hill and flattening ourselves into the bottom of the creek across the road.
i didn't want to take my children to school today, but i doubt it's safer here. we live in a matchbox house. i guess it's better than where i was a year ago, sitting in a second story condo closet with violet and hoping st james kept oliver safe and calm. but i am wondering if moving to a place called Old Lake Highlands was a smart move. i guess we think we're hot shit being on top of a hill. i'm hoping a tornado would just slide off of it.
we're a consumerist society. we've made all of this stuff and then it literally blows around and does it's best to kill us. a woman in texas last week, cleburne, i suppose, said she was dropping her kids in the tub when all of a sudden, shit was just punching through the walls of her house. just cracking right through. in moore, they said entire fucking CURBS just up and blew threw the air and landed at the school. that school did not have its own curbs, initially. a giant, steel oil tank flew half a mile.
as you may or may not know, brian grew up in okc (the city with the most tornado strikes in the US... a place to call home!) and went to college in moore. until a couple of years ago, his brother lived in moore (now in okc, a few miles away). brian's facebook feed is littered with horror. one of his good friends from childhood, scott, lost their home. fortunately, he and his family weren't home at the time. another friend lost a house she was renting. i back-read her feed and saw her frantically trying to find out if her child, a student at plaza towers, was safe. she was in the upper grades, which were evacuated. someone he went to school with has a nephew missing from a daycare. twice, i've seen photos from the national media pop up on an fb feed as someone's neighborhood or long-time friend. like, this shit's real. the obama administration didn't shoot it on a sound stage and sell it as an instrument of fear of climate change.
i feel totally helpless. i've always been terrified of tornadoes. chronic tornado nightmares since childhood. i slept on the couch last night because we were supposed to have storms and i wanted to be able to switch on the tv, though there's a disturbing lack of weather information when it happens in the middle of the night. i will stay awake for hours in the middle of the night watching radars during storms to make sure a funnel isn't just going to drop straight out of the fucking sky on to my house. you really don't have a lot of time. we thought we were finally in the clear last week, when i spent two hours last week shaking and watching weather radars religiously before hiding in the bathroom. i was up to get the kids 30 seconds before the sirens even sounded... there was a protracted rumbling. not thunder (i guess it was thunder), but it was rumbling on and on, like it was truck on the street outside our house. they teach you here that the sky will turn green or yellow and then there's the sound of a freight train. it was the freight train noise just going and going and i thought, this is it. it's here right now. it's right outside our house.
i'm shaving off time from my life with all this anxiety. it's coming again today. look at what my neighbor posted on my facebook. i seriously wonder if i'm an idiot for not grabbing my whole family and driving away right now. am i going to regret just sitting here?
if we weren't already mired down with the requirements to fix our foundation, replace our shower, replace our roof, replace brian's car, and pay for one hundred other things, i am not kidding that my ass would be searching for an underground shelter. i don't see how else you're supposed to survive a mile-wide behemoth with a 2.5 mile debris footprint.
i wonder if the two texas ex-pats i saw on facebook lamenting the lack of tornado sirens in their life still feel that way. one said he schedules trips home in an attempt to coincide. that's not shit to mess around with.