I sat on the back porch and watched the lightning strobe behind clouds off in the distance. It was silent, save for the sad crooning of Neko Case floating out through the kitchen door. Yes, I was indeed air conditioning the neighborhood. I could, in fact, feel the occasional waft of cool air pulse out with the music, as if someone had opened the freezer as I walked past.
I took a drink, lit a cigarette and looked around. The lightning was everywhere—it surrounded me, illuminating the clouds for a brief moment before fading out. I had never seen this much lightning over the city.
There was no thunder.
No breeze picking up—just lightning, bourbon and Neko Case. I was supposed to be on my way to my favorite bar, where everybody knew my name, and all my friends would be drinking, smoking and having a ball. I was already dressed for it, but there was no hurry. I took a drink and wondered if this was heat lightning.
I looked to his right, where my dog lay. I gave him a scritch behind the ear and shared a moment of contentment.
When I was younger, I once sat silently in a parking lot with my best friends in the world, watching heat lightning explode over a cornfield in Iowa. There was neither wind nor thunder then either.
The heavens never cried—they merely shined.
All around me, the lightning pulsed through the sky like electric veins.
Then, in the distance, thunder rolled low and heavy like a bowling ball headed for a strike as the wind began to pick up.
Rain would follow soon.