Fiction by Pat Foran
My Dear Frontal Passage Friend,
We’re having trouble hearing each other. Is it windy where you are? Is it raining, Gene Kelly raining, where you are?
Is there a fire in the back of your head, burning from the back to the front, perpetually?
Is it like falling falling falling without being pushed?
Is it like that? Is it like this? Always?
Yours with microclimatic misgivings,
The Weather Girls
Dear Weather Girls,
That was the warm front that was, wasn’t it?
Fortunately, cooler air (and heads) often prevail. Like a no-one-will-be-the-wiser, westerly wind.
I don’t think anybody knows how to keep cool, or how to be cool, anymore. Do you?
The trial balloon of a forecast I floated represents the last line of every letter I didn’t send you.
Love, like a Blue Norther in a Spaghetti Western sky,
Your Magic 8-Ball
Dear Magic 8-Ball,
It might not sound like progress to you, but I finally stopped apologizing for the prediction I slipped, sieve like, into your back pocket, back when day lilies didn’t deceive, and windbaggy people said things like Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Your friend, the one with the cutest of nose wrinkles,
Whirly Girl by OXO
Dear Whirly Girl by OXO,
Do you know the Yoko song Who Has Seen the Wind? It was the B-side of John’s Instant Karma — karma being a thing I think about when I think about whirling into the next weather pattern. Or when I think about plain, old “Next.”
In a movie I like, there’s a throwaway line I think about a lot: “The yard looks smaller without leaves.”
In the friendship we had, there’s a throwaway line I think about a lot: “It’s not like we really liked each other or anything.”
Yours, in the sickle of the unseen Chinook Wind,
Predictive Text Man
Dear Predictive Text Man,
There was — or, I should say, will be — a hole in the ocean.
A hole that is — or, I should say, will be — the pride of ocean-free Findlay, Ohio.
A hole that stores solar radiation, and distributes heat and moisture around the globe.
A hole that drives weather systems, and drives them with pride.
It’s a wind tunnel of a hole for us, don’t you think?
Thanks in advance for seeing — or, I should say, believing.
Your Little Horse Latitude
Dear Little Horse Latitude,
What a gift you’ve given me.
Gifts can be wispy, breezy things.
After hearing my first and only confession, a priest laughed like that cartoon dog Muttley.
If I remember right, he said I didn’t have the gift.
Gifts are like lies. Some people you give them to will never, ever forgive you.
On a veiny night in Georgia, I am,
The Eastern Breezes
Dear Eastern Breezes,
I know you know about beginnings, middles and ends. About predicting and predictability.
But do you know about Relámpago del Catatumbo, or Catatumbo Lightning? The lightning fury that can stream for 10 hours straight, 10 times 10 times 10 days a year? Catatumbo Lightning strikes and strikes and strikes from storm clouds that float three miles above the Earth.
What kind of wind carries these electrically angry, floating clouds? The wind that wolf whistles, the one that sing-shouts Hey good lookin’ — what’s cookin’? The one blowing in from The South that says, wistfully, Where did we go wrong?The one that whispers, I could be wrong, but you’ll never hear it from me that I’m wrong. Not in this roil, not in this rain, not in this light, not on these electric nights.
Is it that kind of wind?
Watch the weather, you used to say. Traffic and weather together. Ask the weatherman, you’d say. We are windswept, no? Wind farmers, yes? Every which way, you’d say.
Here’s the thing: The weathermen are underground, underground and earnest in their blazers, reflecting, maybe, on the buildings they feather dusted, reconsidering, maybe, the constructs they carpet bombed. Their best-laid plans, waylaid. Their hair, windblown.
I want to talk about next — not what you think it could be or what I think it could be, but what it is. Next, in all its fallen glory. Next, in its earth, in its wind, in its fire. Next and the lightning of is. But I don’t know how to talk about it. Not with you, my dear Eastern Breezes. With you, I only know how to count lightning. How to count it, and how to make it count. Because everything counts.
Under the thunder and above the holler and howl, I am one two three lightning strikes away from the hole in the ocean. Four five six million light years from you.
In the crackle of next, and for (and against) the wind, I am —