Did You Feel That?
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Curves.
Iâ€™m a nervous empath today. I donâ€™t like this feeling. Somethingâ€™s going on today, something that built up to a fever Â pitch Â around Â 3 PM. Â Itâ€™s stillÂ going Â strong. Â ButÂ I donâ€™t know what.
It doesnâ€™t affect any changes today. I know that much.
But it Â affects Â the Â future. Â Not Â this Â week Â or Â even Â this month, but six months down the road? Yes. Certainly by then.
It has to do with my home in the future, my job, myÂ life with the girls. I think it has to do with Eglin Air Force Base and what all the Generals are saying about the Test Wing moving elsewhere, most likely California. This feeling says itâ€™s personal but bigger than me and mine. It ex- tends throughout this community, and the sense is one of oppression, heaviness, stagnation, deep anxiety. The feeling has to do Â with finances, Â the economy, Â hard times, heaviness.
Maybe thatâ€™s a hurricane. Â Is one forming somewhere right now? Is it the worries of the ordinary employees on Eglin? Is it something else?
The feeling strengthened Â to the point of being very uncomfortable around 2 PM when Aislinn and I headed out for cleaning supplies and some school supplies. The whole Â way, Â Aislinn Â kept Â talking Â about Â feeling Â like Â she needed to get away from here. In the next year. I felt it, too.
By 3 PM, I didnâ€™t think I could stand it any longer. The agitation of the people around us, the people in the stores, on the street, on the sidewalk. Iâ€™ve been picking it up everywhere, enough so to cut short the shopping trip and tell Aislinn I had to get out of there and back to the solitude of home and go for a walk to ground myself. We werenâ€™t able to leave for another 30 minutes, and I felt I would crawl out of my skin before we made it to the car.
The Generalâ€™s told us not to worry, but in a way that has a lot of folks scared to death. He admonished us for being Â concernedÂ Â aboutÂ Â ourÂ Â futures Â and Â listeningÂ Â to â€œrumors,â€ this in a lengthy email which weâ€™re not to for- ward outside official channels, but much of its contents were published in the local newspaper, which I doubt was on his distribution list.
My personal Â opinion of the email? It was the most condescending Â letter Â Iâ€™ve Â read Â in a long Â time, perhaps ever. WeÂ all see Â things, Â hear Â things. Â We all talk Â about those things, too, and what we fear, especially when weâ€™re told not to burn up any brain cells on the possibilities of a major Â blow Â to Â the Â local Â economy Â andâ€”paraphrasing hereâ€”to sit down, shut up, and color.
It doesnâ€™t Â help Â that Â I Â dreamed Â last Â night Â that Â the â€œrumorsâ€ are true and that I was given a specific number of jobs that would be lost overall, not identical to whatâ€™s been stated in the local paper. I was shown people moving, leaving the area, and new people coming in but in much Â lower Â paying Â jobs Â and Â living Â in Â the Â Crestview- Mossy Head area where housing is cheaper. I was shown things I didnâ€™t understand.
â€œIt feels like people are evacuating,â€ Â Aislinn said to
me at 3:30 PM, on our way home.
Sheâ€™s right. Thatâ€™s exactly the feeling in the air. Like thereâ€™s Â a Â terrible Â storm Â coming Â and Â people Â are Â afraid. They donâ€™t know how bad itâ€™ll be or exactly where itâ€™ll hit. Theyâ€™re assessing Â whether Â they Â need Â to Â flee Â or if they have time and resources to hunker down.
All the things Iâ€™ve been feeling today, Aislinn repeats back to me, Â with surprising Â similarity. Â We return home and Shannon notes her own high level of anxiety today. She canâ€™t tie it to anything in particular, but itâ€™s in the air.
Like dust. Or ash.