A Jungle Night

Tales from the Siamese puzzle box continues…
The Jungle Home
Our teak house in the Siamese jungle.
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
    And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door
–     Edgar Allan Poe

I wake up in the wee hours of the jungle night. I don’t know why. My sleep was neither fitful nor the tropical heat oppressive at this early morning hour. The air is still as a tub of standing bath water.

My wife Jenny sleeps soundly next to me in the pitch black. The silence only broken by a gecko’s occasional chirp.

And then the faintest, nearly inaudible rumble creeps into the room. It’s more a sense than sound. Now I know why I woke.

It’s coming.

A few minutes later, another rumble. This time ever so slightly louder, closer. A long, rolling, soft rumble. Godzilla wearing velvet slippers is creeping toward me. The gecko stops chirping.

Distant lightening flashes dimly through the room.  Enough to see the 15 foot teak roof above me. I count the seconds waiting for the rolling thunder to follow. Longer, louder, always finishing with deep, booming vibrations that softly rattle the window. But gentle-not crashing. Soothing-not menacing.

As a young boy growing up in Ohio, I remember the violence and brute force of Spring storms. Thunder bashed and crashed. Lightening was sizzling cold blue light. Godzilla was malevolent.

Not in the Siamese jungle that surrounds me. Lightening is golden. Thunder operatic. Godzilla benevolent.

The dense air remains still as death when the first heavy drops spatter on the roof above. Big, fat, warm raindrops splatter above Jenny and me. She just keeps sleeping.

The rain suddenly comes down in a downpour and then turns into a pounding. It’s a roaring rain. Lightening flashes like a kid playing with an on-off switch. Thunder booming, but still not crashing. Godzilla is right outside our old teak house.

After some time, the pounding returns to a mere downpour and I can drift back into a half sleep. Lightening becomes intermittent and thunder more distant.

Slowly nearing, sometimes veering, coming to my old teak door,
Fearing searing dragon’s fire, but bringing raindrops, nothing more….

I wake up again at the first glint of twilight. I get up and open the worn window shutters. It’s still raining a little. There are big pools of water on the land that surrounds this house on stilts. Jenny’s house. She was born and raised here. The pools will drain soon enough in the sandy loam of the jungle’s floor.

Jenny gets up soon after me.

She slept through the storm. I sleep lightly when Godzilla is near and thrashing about. I always think about being a scared kid in Ohio.

Another inky night in the Siamese jungle at rainy season.




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