Can you feel it? Reaching upward?
Not the metal of the antenna itself. That's poetic nonsense. Metal's metal. It's solid, if a bit whippy. It sticks up. It doesn't reach. It'd sag and droop if it could get away with it.
I'm talking about the charge.
The building over there is sitting in a puddle of it. Hell, you're standing in it too, but it's best not to think about it.
If you ever wave a magnet over a pile of paperclips, you'll see them stir and wobble. That's what you feel. The stirring.
Shake the magnet back and forth over the paperclips. They'll start sticking together and clumping up. Without even touching them, you can tease them into a pile, maybe even get the one on top to stand up and reach....
You really do feel it. The creeping static charge moves your hair around, on your head and arms and legs. You can feel it tug on your eyelashes. As the charge climbs over you.
The air, the water, the dust in the air all starts sucking up the charge. Molecules line up into threads and chains and cables that the other charge in the sky teases upward.
Ionized air molecules behave differently, chemically speaking. The air smells sharper. Like tin. It tastes like copper.
That's what's climbing the building and threading its way skyward: ionized molecules joining ethereal hands in a daisy-chain reaching upward, upward -- trying to link with the mirrored chain reaching downward.
If it was dark enough you could see it. The chains of ionized air glow like glowworms.
You can feel it, though. Surely you can feel it.
You're standing in a puddle of charge. You have your own cable of ionized air forming above you, snaking its way up into the sky. You can feel it.
The building over there with the tall antenna on top of it has a couple hundred feet of head start, straining upward to shake hands with the sky.
Hope it wins in the race for the lightning.
Posted by Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri