Sometimes people come and go and we don’t even notice because they are quiet or they don’t initiate eye contact or they just don’t linger long enough for us to have a thought about them that lasts. Maybe somewhere in our brains there is a memory for each and every person who passes through our lives this way, but they are not in places where they are easily reached. These people can only find their way into our consciousness by showing up in our dreams, disguised as people we don’t recognize at all.

Katy was not one of those people. When she passed into your life, you knew it. You couldn’t help remembering Katy. Well, I couldn’t, anyway. She was a storm that came and went and left a demand for emergency relief crews in her wake. Basically, once you met her, you were doomed and damned to remember her. Doomed to think of her, damned by thought have having let this storm tear through your world unchecked The thing is, you couldn’t really help it. Katy’s nickname was catastrophe. She liked to jump right into any situation, into life, I suppose.

I think about Katy often: she is in my thoughts every time I see a woman wearing a raincoat, which makes me think I should move south, far away from Seattle. I dream about Katy often, too. I don’t always remember the dreams themselves but I know she was in them because I wake up feeling like a natural disaster just took place inside my chest.

She is the mudslide that never dries up or washes away, but just keeps flowing, dragging broken lawn furniture with her along the way.