There had been water in the sky all day, seen and unseen, in clouds and that wet blanket of summer air that puts the kibosh on appreciating the outdoors. Roommate Adrian and I walked out to the car and headed toward a few stops before home.
As is the case with rain, it can seem to be almost upon a given area, but will hold off for some reason. You can’t trust rain. It never follows predictions. At best you get some percentage from the weather diviners. Percentage? Like when rain is hitting you in the face, it’s only doing so at a 40 percent chance?
No, no, I see rain like I see all aspects of life—either I’m wet or dry, 50-50 chance. “What are my odds on winning the lottery?” Again, 50-50, either you will or you won’t. This truth applies to most things. Just say “Insha’Allah” a lot and you’ll get the idea.
Rain’s punctual ambiguity is like some sick joke that keeps an umbrella out of my hand when I need it most—though, point of fact, I’m not allowed to carry umbrellas while in the military, regardless; so each and every rainstorm remains a sick joke. A man, an invention, and the insurmountable legalities that keeps one from another.
…Though, to think on it, I’ve never owned an umbrella, before the Army or after, so I suppose that deflates the argument a tad. Be that as it may, having the right to a thing and refusing to partake is quite different than having no access at all to a thing. Right? Who’s with me?!
In any case, after the errands, we were on the path toward the apartment. I had hoped to run in the woods that afternoon and allow the humidity to make an attempt on my life. I worried as mark after mark of the center line passed and the sky looked ever rainier. The first drops began to fall.
“Quick, damn you! Floor it, the hounds are almost on us!” I shrieked to Adrian.
Well, point of fact, I didn’t so much yell…or say anything at all, really.
I decided in the pause in conversation between roommate Adrian and I that I would play out a “Hunter S. Thompson-esque” dialog in my mind, where I perceived the rain as a mangy mutt, who had, to this point, lain lazily in the summer clouds, a harm to no one.
But then, as our car roared out of the lot…well—gently conformed to the speed limit out of the lot, the beast frothed at the mouth and started its chase. It wasn’t happy to let the plain humidity have me, it would run our car down as we sped south, putting a damper on any running plans and panging a chord of frustration in the owners of every newly-washed car on that road.
My heart groaned at the rain.
I have no huge love for running, and the downpour was a good excuse to stay in and do the ol’ balcony exercise thing. There I watched the rain, having lost all dog-like characteristics and returned to simple showers. Enough of it splashed and wet the balcony and I let it wash over my face for a minute.
Then, I thought, of the exhaust of the billions of commutes that had pooled in that water, along with the sizable quantities of smoke, trash burning, refuse and all manner of industrial crap that probably lingered in the sky. On it’s way down, hitting the outside of the building and running down, dripping and absorbing grit along the way, it made its way to my face. Yes, as refreshing as washing in landslide water.
And, with that, I took a shower, and put an umbrella on my shopping list. Ok, I didn’t go so far as to put one on any list, but it did make for a snappy end, eh?