He hears thunder and steps outside, eyes on the horizon.
He’s been hearing thunder. It’s been more frequent since November 8th.
Still no storm. But it’s coming.
If history has taught him anything, it’s that the storm is always coming.
He shivers, rubs the goosebumps on his arms. Rubs his aching eyes. He’s been feeling tired, lately. Tired, sad, angry. It is the new normal. He tries and fails to remember a time in the last six months when a day could pass without incident. Tries and fails to remember a day in the last six months when he couldn’t feel the doom creep in.
He saw a doctor and the doctor gave him pills to fight it.
“I’ve been seeing a lot of this,” she says.
“For how long?”
“Since November 8th.”
“Will these help?”
She gives him a sad smile and a shrug. She gives him the pills. He wonders if she takes them herself. He wonders if they help her.
The do pills help. They blunt the anxiety. Blunt the panic. The internal screaming now a dull roar. The stabbing hopelessness now a dull ache.
The pills help. But they can’t stop the storm.
He can see it on the horizon. A wall of rain-fat clouds bearing enough lighting to set this country on fire. It waits there, terrifying and inevitable. His friends have seen it. His family. Most of them, at least. They’ve talked about the storm.
The storm has been building for a while. The rich getting richer, finding more and more things to steal now that people have no savings, now that people live paycheck to paycheck. They tell people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps while, in the same breath, stealing their boots.
Now they steal our future. Our education system. Our environmental protections. Our insurance. Our voting rights. Our civil liberties. God help you if you’re black or brown, because they can steal your freedom or life without consequence.
We’ve watched them do it.
We’ve seen it happen, unfold with our own eyes and raged and marched in the thousands, demanding justice, demanding changes.
No changes. No justice. Just riot police and tear gas. The storm cannot hear our cries over the thunder.
We’ve seen cowards and kleptocrats, despots and opportunists, ignoring rule of law because their peers in power will do nothing to stop them. Then they conspire to change the rules to keep that power. Maybe forever.
Or at least until the storm.
Because a storm is coming.
A storm that will topple the powerful and restore balance, that will wash the streets with its fury. A storm that will shake the boardrooms and penthouses and government offices. A storm that will empty the prisons and tear down the border walls and slums. A storm that will finally crush the patriarchy and white supremacy.
A storm is coming. Because it has to. Because he doesn’t know how explain to some people that they should care about others. Because he cannot understand how some people don’t understand that basic concept.
He hears the thunder again.
No. He is the thunder. We are the thunder. He looks about, sees those close to him, sees the storm build in their eyes.
They rise as one. They become clouds. Rain-fat and electric as the the charge builds to that first bolt of lightning.