Anakana Schofield – Author of Martin John and Malarky

Highway sway

Yesterday afternoon saw the arrival of a storm system that culminated after days, if not a century of rain. Friday evening was a fully spiked Pineapple Express, which basically flushed any bird shite off the top of any building, lamp post. It was the rain equivalent of a high speed water flosser. If you had bird shite stuck between your teeth this rain would have freed it. The chimney pots of the city must be sparkling after it.

Yesterday’s storm arrived amid serious flooding on the roads in some parts. I know because I was driving in the middle of it. It was terrifying. In the Southerly direction of my journey the wind was so fierce my car was being blown into the neighbouring lane. I have never experienced wind that could shake the booty of the back wheels of my car. I was panicked. I don’t know how to drive in wind I thought. Do I need to pull over and google it? I slowed down much to pissery of those who clearly either do know how to drive in it or whose cars are of the ten ton variety.

On the Northerly return journey a blinder of a rainstorm added itself to the wind. No visibility whatsoever. Had to perch my head over the dashboard to deal with the glare of the car behind in my mirror.

In between the South and the North journeys, I stopped at a petrol station and chatted with a few fellas who were gathered and we analysed the weather. One was a trucker who had pulled off the highway.  Another fella working at the petrol station generously googled to find out how long the wind warning would be in effect and whether I could sit it out. 1am he said, shaking his head. We had a good laugh and I left fortified. The trucker told me he slows down in these conditions and they all agreed there is no specific way to drive in the wind — except hold on tight.

The journey reminded me of a storm described in one of Alex Leslie’s early stories in her collection People Who Disappear and the interlude at the petrol station reminded me of Jess Walter’s novel The Financial Lives of Poets. This was heartening to be pondering literature amid my holy terror and happy petrol pals.

Leave a Reply