Typhoons, natural or manmade, have an exquisite sense of timing. They usually find me when I am relaxed and happy and thus unprepared. Of course when I was leaving the hotel last Wednesday I did not know that there was a typhoon when I left, but it explains a lot. I left the hotel I was staying at and the person at the hotel desk seemed particularly concerned about the fact that I had no umbrella. I of course thought I explained to him that I was from Seattle and we get rain every day of the year, well not every day , just the days ending in “Y”. However I did concede that the sheets of rain may warrant putting my rain coat on.
The typhoon did not hit full force until the end of the day. By the time I left school it knocked out a couple of windows in the building and flooded the open air hallways. My coworker was one of the last people in the building and she convinced me to bring a spare umbrella with me. The umbrella , one that had been sitting on a desk peacefully, really pestering no one since my arrival in July, had no idea that I was taking in out to its untimely demise. The walk back in the middle of the typhoon was adventourous. When I was not dodging people trying to poke my eyes with the ends of their umbrellas , I was fighting my umbrella. Some times when the winds whipped , it would lurch forward and a titanic struggle would ensue, quite worthy of being on a Discovery channel reality show , and I would grab on with all my strength to keep it with me. When the wind blew the other direction the umbrella would turn itself inside else. This umbrella was not going to be the only one getting wet and he was letting me know it in the surest possible terms.
I ducked under a overhanging roof where I was stuck like a sardine with the fifty some odd other people who had similaril given up hope of any forward momentum. My umbrella was sticking out and refusing to close. I finally pulled it shut and heard an odd *snap* much like one does when they get run over by a three hundred pound lineman crushes a quarterbacks leg. I looked at my umbrella. Not being an umbrella expert, or person who believes they exist , I just naturally assumed that this was a sound all umbrellas made when they close.
I walked to the hotel, umbrella-less , the water getting waterlogged in places quite honestly I did not know it was possible to get waterlogged in. When I finally got to my room I had no choice but to get into the shower. In the forty feet it took me to walk from the shelter to my room I had become completely entirely soaked. I think even the inside of my bones were drowning in water.
I showered and wrapped my towel around my waist. I stood at the window completely not caring if the people across could see me. I stared at the water flooding th parking lot below. I looked at my phone. The phone said four in the afternoon but the dark sky said much later. I had met a new enemy, one more powerful and wet than any before it. I had four days to see who would survive; it was truly man against nature.