Saturday, May 20, 2017


It was that last cold snap in the early weeks of May
That made me realize just what was in store beyond the
Bone dry years that constituted one of the greatest droughts
The West Coast has seen for a century.

Subtle at first, the weather rolled in as usual, replacing the
Blue Sky of Death that had lingered for a week
At the end of March, but nothing happened, except,
I once again became violently ill with the flu for the second time this year.

I was laughing at those big white puffy clouds hanging over the scenery on the first day.
They seemed so out of place, almost embarrassing in their giant cottonball shapes.
They were followed by a monster gray cloud that brought the bug back into the neighborhood.
I fell sick and hit the floor asleep for eighteen straight hours on the first day.

The rest of the symptoms followed: intense pain, violent sneezing, uncontrollable running nose,
More pain, coughing but this was just the preliminary.
Nature had taken control of the environment, pollen invaded the air;
Insect populations, the biting kind, exploded onto the scene.

As the media hyped some yet to be fully appreciated "Epic Wildflower Season",
The hydrologists were still trying to figure out where to store all the runoff from the snowpack.
And after all those epic wildflowers bloom, along with their weed counterparts, dry out and die,
The media will run from the "Epic Wildfire Season".

And suddenly, while coughing and soaking up gallons of runoff nasal drip with those
Brawny guy paper towels,  I was able in the pain and numbness in my head,
Hammered by cold pills and hard slaps to the face to rid myself of the evil that had
Possessed my body, the purpose of this experiment became quite clear.

I looked into the mirror and saw some puffy eyed  pittance staring back at me,
Eyes bulging like I had drowned in the Salton Sea last year and only now resurfaced
To reveal the bulging goggly fish eyes popping out of my skull,
Floor littered with Mr Brawny tissue, ankle deep, tossed randomly.

I had been singled out by some mad Darwinian twist of nature to be tested for the
Survival of the Fittest award. Natural Selection on an individual basis.
Should I succeed, I live, otherwise, the drought's end would be meaningless.
I pondered this carefully as every flying crawling and creeping insect from here

To the Governor's Mansion exhibited it's voracious appetite after
Laying dormant for ten years, by biting and stinging me from head to foot. Still I pushed on.
Yet to be seen was the giant pine pollen cloud on the horizon,
Settling outside my front door like a No Friends on a Powder Day.

I pushed on, fighting back all that nature was tossing at me even as the Governor,
In his mansion, announced he saved us all from the drought, friends in high places.
None of that mattered, Nature had selected me for an important task:
To learn how to survive and thrive in the Post-Drought World.

There was one cure for the late spring cold-flu-pneumonia syndrome, spicy food.
So I went over to Las Panchitas Restaurant to order up some enchiladas, tacos and salsa.
The Senora briskly arrived with the chips and salsa and nothing still made any sense until
She placed on the table something taken for granted I hadn't seen since before the drought.

A glass of...


(c) 2017 JC Langelle--Dist. by North Beach Digital Media, All Rights Reservecd.