Friday, December 14, 2007

Rain Likely.

Done, done and done: Save for a few letters of recommendation I've promised the more promising kids, I am done for the semester. Finished. No more teachers' dirty looks.

And off to The Brightwood, a roadhouse on 70 left over from the days when Elvis was Elvis. Lucille, who works behind the bar, has been behind the bar, she says, since the mid-fifties. Of all things, I'm headed there to meet a former student, to look at a story he's written. I am celebrating the end of the semester, the end of stories, with a story. Here's another: Lucille's house burned sometime in the early nineties. Her savings, in cash, was in the house. She keeps Ziplocs of charred money behind the bar, pieces it together when it's slow. If she can find more than half a bill, the bank gives her a new one.

Front after front has swept through this December with no rain to speak of, but they say -- they always say, but they say -- that this one is the one we earned when we finally gave up, drew straws, cast lots, and dragged a few virgins out to the volcano. Rain likely, it says. Not chance of rain. Rain likely. Tomorrow night. Rainfall possibly over one inch.

My hope is that somewhere down in the bottom of that volcano, one of the virgins is saying, Well, I could finish that story for you if you want me to, but I really think you're supposed to kill me now. I hope she'll say it for a thousand and one nights, and that it will rain for a thousand and one days. Or just one. The semester's over. Rain likely.

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