We’ve all had them. Those love/hate relationships we can’t live with and we can’t live without. For me, one of those relationships has always been with the wind.
Sure, the wind and I have had our good times. Flying kites together. Watching wind farms. Going sailing. I still don’t understand how the wind moves a boat forward by blowing it left then right then left then right. But in any love relationship, mystery is a good thing.
If only my relationship with the wind stopped there. But alas, we must talk about the hate part. And let me be clear. It’s not so much that I hate the wind as it is the wind hates me.
Sadly, the wind has kicked me out of more cities than I can count.
The wind kicked me out of LA.
In LA they call the wind the Santa Anas, and every autumn the dry, fire-inducing winds sweep down from the Mojave Desert into Southern California and try to burn it down. And every year, a few more million acres go up in flames. Even the movie star homes in Malibu are not spared. One afternoon I spotted Harrison Ford. He was staying at the same hotel that I was. Apparently the Santa Anas were threatening his house. I figured if the Santa Anas can kick Harrison Ford’s ass, they can kick anybody’s.
Bye bye, LA.
The wind kicked me out or Chicago.
I was minding my own business walking down Michigan Avenue, and the wind coming off the lake was particularly fierce that day. It was so fierce that when I turned a corner to walk towards Lake Michigan, the wind stopped me dead in my tracks. Literally, I could not take one step forward.
“Not today, buddy,” said the wind. “What are you, a buck-fifty soaking wet? Go back the way you came or I’ll blow you clear to Skokie.”
Fact. In the winter the Windy City actually installs ropes to help pedestrians scale horizontal surfaces.
Bye, bye, Chicago.
Now I’ve moved to New York, and guess what. I just got this news on my phone.
“Weather Alert: A Nor’easter is forming.”
Well, wind, this is where I make my stand.
But before I do, I have only one question. What the fuck kind of name is Nor’easter? It sounds like something Captain Ahab would say.
“Batten down the hatches mateys, a Nor’easters a brewin’ and it will show no mercy to man nor beast nor Steve Bassett.”
For god sakes, Northeast, hire a better PR firm. At the very least, give your wind a less threatening name.
“Weather Alert. Mr. Rogers is heading up the northeast coast again. Do not be alarmed. I repeat, do not be alarmed. He just wants to be your neighbor.”
But as I said, no matter what they call the wind up here, this is where I make my stand.
Sure, Nor’easter, you may blow me all the way to Maine. Bring it on. Do your worst. Blow the man down. But know this. When it’s all over, I’ll be hitching a ride on the very next snow plow heading southwest to New York.
I call it the Sou’wester. And yes, wind, I am ready to rumble.