A Wind In October

I am trapped inside by wind, and it drives my irritability meter through the roof. I want to go for a walk, but this is the kind of wind that rushes up and steals your breath, and few things feel more ridiculous than gasping for air against more air. It makes me feel like a fish out of water, only I am on land, and it is the thing I breathe that is keeping me from breathing. Can fish drown? One day I will go down flopping in the wind like a fish hauled on board, only no one will have a fish bat handy to put me out of my misery.

I hate wind. I prefer most other kinds of prairie weather over wind. I have had to flee golf ball-sized chunks of ice falling from the sky that could break car windows, and I preferred that to wind. One time, a car I was driving got hung up on slushy drifts on the highway in February, and even though I had to try to push it out by myself in a dress and heels with traffic whizzing by at 70 miles an hour, I remember thinking At least it's not windy out here.

The wind we southern Saskatchewanians have to deal with today is not just some breeze that blows annoying bits of dust into our faces. It has been gusting up to 50 miles an hour for two days and is ripping whatever leaves remained from the trees, even the still green ones, and it has stolen the last decent bit of warmth we had left, leaving us with temperatures dropping to 12°F by midnight tonight.

Something rattles in my fireplace flue when the wind gusts high, and it reminds me of the cold that one autumn when a couple of friends and I took an impromptu trip up to a northern lake in October and ate LSD. We forgot to eat supper before getting high, so we were hungry, but the acid kept us from being able to deal with the elbow noodles, raw beef, and bread we had brought along, so we lay out on a chilly beach under a full moon shivering our asses off and commenting on the orbs of energy we kept seeing bob through the trees across the water.

"Look! The moon wears a blue bonnet!" T exclaimed, pointing to the sky. All three of us looked up, and sure enough, we all saw the blue bonnet. It billowed out around the face of the moon and was tied in a flouncy bow under its chin. The effect made it look almost exactly like that milkmaid who used to grace butter packaging when I was a kid. Maybe she still does.

While we discussed in great detail how the moon was a milkmaid - my god, how incredible, a milkmaid! Could that be her true nature we were seeing? - the sand's damp cold settled into my bones, and my teeth chattered so viciously that I accidentally bit my cheek. I convinced the lot of us to move inside, and I think we spent the rest of the night picking bits of blotter paper out of the carpet, marvelling at balls made of sponge, and watching alphabets march around the room.

I was the last one to go to bed, and as I stood in the kitchen surveying a counter covered in blood from an aborted attempt at making hamburgers and a large pot fill with several packages worth of congealed instant noodles that no one was able to fathom touching, I could hear the wind sweeping up the beach from the wide open water. It seemed to finger its way along the sides of the cabin, howling and whistling around the cheap windows, and it left me with nowhere to go but to sleep.