Of course myself and of course my stormed over blues getting more stormed on, and of course the jaggy wire fence leading just one way to the idling truck below the hill with Bobby waiting there, tapping his feet. And then of course the nudity. I am so naked.
First it is a small sip of thunder. Only a bit, a quick bit, the steaming ground teacupping that bright shit down its gullet, myself a tall slender pinky standing out here like the proper Englishmen put their pinkies out at tea time. God, I am the pinky out out here. I am bare as a finger, standing 10s of 20s of feet away and motoring the hot wet air in and out of me. I stand almost under the tree, really – the spot where the ground takes the lightning down like an Englishman sips his tea, quick and short, as I’m saying, nice and clean and quick and short, and where the tree splits in half looks just like an Englishman’s ‘stache, just like kerpow! Tree-stache. A moustache is all I’m wearing right now, really. I am thinking the lightning burned all the other hair off like an electric razor. No more lower moustache, know what I’m saying? I’m 10s of 20s kinds of fashionable out here.
I’m shaking electric myself, too, static from the lightning strike all up on my wet arm hairs. Bobby’s idling. And he’s idling that truck down the dirt road. He’s tapping his anxious Bobby feet. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because Bobby knows what I’m talking about. Bobby told me – hell, told all of us – to go do this naked thing with the tree and the hill and the storm. Bobby just knows everything. And what Bobby knows we don’t know till we know, too, and then we know it, and then once we know it s’like we always knew it. Know what I’m talking about? And that’s why I’m naked and so so scared. Sure Bobby knows the kind of scared I am.
Bobby was once naked, too, rain flicking down his policeman’s ‘stache and the ‘stache parting two-way ‘tween Bobby’s little bobby, and the large drips and patched fire all slipping around on the split tree in front of naked him, 10s of 20s of feet port his own two feet: naked Bobby saw the ground sip the wild sky in a boom, too. Bobby gotta know my kind of scared. Bobby takes the whole office out here, from what I know now, each one of us on the force to slip out our blues and watch and know like Bobby knows. And once we know, Bobby’s shifting out of park and chugging the hill with his old sputtering truck and with his hand out the truck window with a towel and a dry pair of blues in that hand. And Bobby says, Let’s Get You In The Driver’s Side Cause You Don’t Need No More Of A Ride Than That, and he gets out and let’s you get dressed, like I’m getting dressed, and he let’s you drive back to the station because you need to be in control of something after that, and he doesn’t talk and he let’s you drive however you have to drive.
It’s a small sip of thunder, but that bright shit sticks to your eyes. You want a large sip of something hard and fast when you get back to the station. You want it then and there when you step in. And that’s what I’m doing now, sipping my own heat back into me, shaking.
I sip from Bobby’s desk flask, leaning against the window-wall of his office; I drip heavy on his office carpet, and down the wall, all the wall blinds wide up ’cause everybody – hell, everybody – on the force already knows because they’ve known it, that bright terrifying shit. Bobby takes them out there, everyone, to the outskirts, to some high pinch of earth got’s a tree and clear view of heaven. We’ve covered this. Bobby knows the best spots. You gotta know, too. It makes you grow hair where hair won’t grow, like on your tongue or something. Shit’s terrifying. Sip something hard and make yourself warm again. Clean your new tongue hair with it or something.
Bobby says, How ‘Bout We Get You Back To Your Shift, and I tell him I need my bearings. Bobby says, Then Stop Sipping Heat From My Flask, Hot Man, And Straighten Out. So I give him the flask back and we’re back in business protecting this fine city and not getting almost struck by lightning 10s of 20s of forget-its away. We forgets it. We keep moving. Everyone does.