Chapter 7: Thunder Road

The big winter storm we’d been warned about finally arrived, and it was quite a show. Roaring winds, torrential downpours, booming thunder, the whole works. I’ll give Del Sol Valley one thing in the winter weather department: what it lacks in snowfall it more than makes up for with some pretty impressive thunderstorms.

Cue Soiling in 3… 2… 1…

Except for my daily forays to the office, I didn’t leave my shack for a couple of days while the storm raged through the valley. It’s not that I’m afraid of getting a little wet, mind you, but the lightning was pretty spectacular, and struck really close, really often. At one point I was making an update to this very site when a bolt struck right behind me, and I can guarantee you I’m never wearing that particular underwear again.

I’m happy to report that the upgrade to the shack I had been planning was completed just before the storm landed. I don’t mean to brag, but I’m getting pretty handy with a hammer, and was able to complete the extension in an afternoon. Now my bed and everything else I own, what little of it there is, remains safe and dry as the storm continues raging outside. This means that not only can I sleep at night without my mattress turning into a cold, wet sponge, but I’m able to run my collection of questionably-sourced appliances without fear of electrocution. I not only get to sleep, but I get to eat, too. Well, “eat” may be too strong a word for it. Having lived with my dad and his staff of household servants all of my life, my skill level when it comes to taking care of myself is pretty abysmal, but I’m working on it.

The Stuff I Scraped Off Wasn’t That Terrible

Between thundershowers I’ve taken the opportunity to explore my new neighborhood, and I’ve made a few exciting discoveries. Alas, those discoveries have not included any nearby frog habitats, but I have located a hillside just down the street where I’ve found some semi-lucrative mineral and crystal deposits. Perhaps even more exciting, I’ve been able to pick out a few fossils from the sedimentary rock exposed when the road up to my lot was constructed. While I may not be raking in cash as Sahara Social’s newest intern, online buyers interested in this stuff I’m prying out of the dirt are doing a fair job of providing me spending money.

Shiny rocks and dead dinosaurs aren’t all I’ve discovered around here, though. One evening as I was coming home from work I stumbled upon my most dazzling find to date.

“To Date,” Get It?

Her name’s Nalani, and apparently I’ve got some gods on my side, because somehow she took a wrong turn headed for the beach and ended up on my doorstep. I happily gave her directions, of course, and expected that to be the end of it, but she inexplicably stuck around a while and chatted with me, which I really appreciated since my only other social contact of late has been people at work ordering me to fetch them coffee.

I couldn’t even tell you what we talked about; it was all small stuff, really, like the weather and local happenings in Del Sol Valley and beyond. We talked about my attempts to build a shelter and how much we both enjoyed spending time at the local beaches.

I’m not sure how long she stayed, but it somehow simultaneously felt like both several hours and the blink of an eye before she departed. I’m not sure if I’ll ever see her again, but I hope I do.

If there is a next time, I really hope she doesn’t drop by while I’m still wearing that goofy work turban.

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