Did You Feel That?
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Curves.
I’m a nervous empath today. I don’t like this feeling. Something’s going on today, something that built up to a fever pitch around 3 PM. It’s still going strong. But I don’t know what.
It doesn’t affect any changes today. I know that much.
But it affects the future. Not this week or even this month, but six months down the road? Yes. Certainly by then.
It has to do with my home in the future, my job, my 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 it’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 with finances, the economy, hard times, heaviness.
Maybe that’s a hurricane. Is one forming somewhere right now? Is it the worries of the ordinary employees on Eglin? Is it something else?
The feeling strengthened 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 way, Aislinn kept talking about feeling like she needed to get away from here. In the next year. I felt it, too.
By 3 PM, I didn’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. I’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 weren’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 General’s told us not to worry, but in a way that has a lot of folks scared to death. He admonished us for being concerned about our futures and listening to “rumors,” this in a lengthy email which we’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 opinion of the email? It was the most condescending letter I’ve read in a long time, perhaps ever. We all see things, hear things. We all talk about those things, too, and what we fear, especially when we’re told not to burn up any brain cells on the possibilities of a major blow to the local economy and—paraphrasing here—to sit down, shut up, and color.
It doesn’t help that I dreamed last night that the “rumors” are true and that I was given a specific number of jobs that would be lost overall, not identical to what’s been stated in the local paper. I was shown people moving, leaving the area, and new people coming in but in much lower paying jobs and living in the Crestview- Mossy Head area where housing is cheaper. I was shown things I didn’t understand.
“It feels like people are evacuating,” Aislinn said to
me at 3:30 PM, on our way home.
She’s right. That’s exactly the feeling in the air. Like there’s a terrible storm coming and people are afraid. They don’t know how bad it’ll be or exactly where it’ll hit. They’re assessing whether they need to flee or if they have time and resources to hunker down.
All the things I’ve been feeling today, Aislinn repeats back to me, with surprising similarity. We return home and Shannon notes her own high level of anxiety today. She can’t tie it to anything in particular, but it’s in the air.
Like dust. Or ash.