Good New/Bad News

Good News: After a week of 100+ degree weather, it finally cooled down and rained.

Bad News: Well, it didn’t rain, exactly. A storm passed through St. Louis, and even though it only lasted an hour, it caused more damage per minute than I’ve ever seen before.

Good News: I live in Greentree City, USA, which is super pretty…

Bad News: …except after storms. This morning, it looked like a wood-chipper barfed all over everyone’s front yard.

Good News: I could sit outside on the phone without sweating and bitching for like five minutes.

Bad News: Then the wind grew so loud that I couldn’t hear anything, and it almost knocked me over. Scary.

Good News: The electricity only went out for about a minute, and my family didn’t lose power at all.

Bad News: Half a million people in the area did. There was somebody from the power company on the radio today, and she said that it was the most damage the company had ever faced, ever.

Bad News: My company was NOT one of the buildings that lost power, even though all of the surrounding businesses and stoplights are out. So I am at work, which is incredibly assy.

Good News: It’s always nice to get back to your roots and remember that people survived without electricity for thousands of years.

Bad news: Today is NOT the day to try it, because the heat index is going to be 115 degrees.

More Bad News: My brother told me that it’s hotter here than in Afghanistan.

More Bad News: This is not an expression like, “colder than a witch’s tit.” It is literally hotter than Afghanistan, and it sucks that he knows this because he’s there.

Good News: I can tell my brother “It’s so frickin hot here” and I don’t feel like a douche. For once I have it worse than him, weather wise. I try to never complain about my job or the weather to him, because that would make me such an asshole.

Good News: My brother and I can e-mail each other like every day, which we could never do when he was in Iraq.

Bad News: He gets to tell me about all of the rocket attacks that miss his bunker by like 20 ft., so I’m forced to worry about my brother and how the Taliban is trying to blow him up.

Good News: I called my Grandma last night to make sure she had power (Grandma: “Stephie, I have the power to do anything! It’s a woman’s world… ”), and she told me that my brother called her yesterday. She was really excited about it and it was cute.

Good News: She said that he wasn’t getting attacked by rockets anymore.

Bad News: My brother lied to Grandma.

Good News: He’d BETTER lie to Grandma, if he knows what’s good for him.

Bad News: I can just picture my brother telling my Grandma that he’s safe and okay and not scared at all, when he spent all night huddled in a bomb shelter with a helmet on instead of sleeping, and he was probably calling her Just In Case.

Good News: That just shows you how incredible my brother is, in more ways than one.

Bad News: It breaks my heart to think about it.

Good News: My brother trusts me enough to tell me about this stuff, when he hasn’t even told his wife or our family. He doesn’t want them to worry. My whole family is like that, which is both good and bad. Plus, he doesn’t really open up to people much, and I like when he does because he can’t bottle that crap up inside.

Better News: After this last attack, he’s finally admitted that yes, he would like a new President ASAP, please.

Bad News: I can’t tell anybody about this stuff (except for, you know, you guys). I have to listen to my family talk about how safe he is, and I have to smile and nod and pretend it’s okay.

Good News: I guess this means my brother thinks I’m strong enough to handle it, which is nice. Not a lot of people do. He told me that I’m brave, and for a brief moment he made me feel like I really am.

So last night, even though the wind was so strong that that it hurt my face and I could hear sirens and glass breaking and all that shit… I stood outside in that damn storm and finished my damn cigarette. I felt like I had to be brave for him, somehow. So I was.

Bad News: If anything fucking happens to my big brother, I will go over there and kill the Taliban dead all by myself. You DO NOT want to deal with the Wrath of Shortcake. Just ask my ex-boyfriend.

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