Tap Dancing to Voltage

by Meg Tuite

Queer that I've never been struck by lightning. My mother and grandmother were circulatory psychics who could read the blood coursing through one's veins. With the touch of those spidery blue wisps running up the inner arms they could transform the future into now. I watched their eyelids flutter, mouths contort and clouds open as demonic voices sealed the seasons into one.

I was an only child, a son, my mother named Moirai, greek for the Fates. It didn't help matters that I couldn't read those cheap ESP cards you could buy at the dimestore. Everyone called me Morrie, which as far as I know had no meaning except that I was Jewish, for as long as I've been standing on this earth in tap shoes.

Tap shoes are the portal to the opening of heavens that will ignite me with the highest voltage of electricity, give me the gift I was meant for at birth. Prophecy.

I have read every book and listed all the ways to harness that cataclysm down into my circulatory system.

I booked a flight to Gainesville, Florida, where more people have been struck by lightning in the US, in June, the most promising month for blast offs. I stayed in a hotel with a pool and lots of tall trees near a golf course. I rented a boat so I could slip into the waters when the warnings were blaring out to stay away. I went to the Salvation Army store and rummaged up pots and pans. I got the gardener of the hotel to lend me a wheelbarrow and then waited.

When the thunder was cracking at about 10 (one thousand), I put on my tap shoes, my tinfoil hat and armor, wheelbarrowed the pots and pans out to the boat and loaded them in. I pushed off into the murky waters as I listened to thunder move into 8 (one thousand).

People think you die getting hit by lightning, but that's barely a 10% probability. Yes, there are some debilitating effects, just like any venture worth its weight in metal, but pioneers charge on into explosive territory where others fear to drift.

As the cracking honed in 5 (one thousand) I waved pots and pans, tap danced counter-clockwise and chanted for shockwaves to lift me like a spectacle of fireworks.

I have been to Gainsville three years in a row. I almost drowned twice, got arrested in my tinfoil gear on a golf course and was kicked out of the last two motels for swinging a metallic anvil around in the swimming pool after midnight when the winds were roaring like devils. Queer, that I haven't been torched yet by that thunderbolt dagger in the sky.

I'm not good with predictions. But it's only a matter of time before I will be.