Ope! There she is. Told you she’d show up, didn’t I? Acts like she never heard rain before. What a weirdo.
I’m not sure what woke me. Could be heartburn, my hip smarting, or another hot flash, but I’m pretty sure it was the rain tapping gently on the leaves outside my bedroom window that I keep open just a crack so I can hear the world. I stuffed myself into yesterday’s jeans and a soft baja shirt that I’ve had forever (you know, from that time we drove home from Orlando) and walked barefoot onto the dark balcony to see the silhouette of the rain in the courtyard lights. The rain comes in waves, mostly gentle but when it comes down hard I love the sound of it on the roof, and I walk outside to witness its immanence, wishing I heard it on a tin roof, the roof we talked about, the one we wanted, the one I remembered when I was a little girl and sometimes wish for.
When we visited Mom Mom and Pop Pop, we slept upstairs in the beds their daughters slept in, brown hospital beds we approached on ancient tiles with patterns we don’t see anymore, barefoot creaky floors, we slipped beneath crisp sheets and ancient quilts, beds separated by a large window fan, the kind of fan that would kill a man if you stuck your hand too close and we learned and never forgot the sound of that fan that sounded like an airplane taking off that could take off your hand but they turned off the fan while we slept upstairs in the bed mom slept in when she was a girl. And I heard the rain on the aluminum valances outside the windows and fell in love with the rain and the roof and the secret bed and blankets and quilts.
We moved to a new building in the middle of nowhere surrounded by low mountains that afforded views upon meadows and ponds for the wealthy. I left my cubicle seat for the low, wide windows to watch the rain pouring down in the parking lot, heavy, jumping up from the asphalt up into wheel wells, cratering the ground, the sound of the heavy rain on the roof, I could not resist, I dropped everything to go to the window or the door and watch the heavy rain fall and hear its sound on us all while everyone faced their screens and typed things that mattered in that moment. I acted like a woman who’d never seen it rain before.
When the rain comes hard I want to see. I want to hear. I don’t know why, and maybe I don’t need to know why. I just know it comforts me. It makes me feel. It stimulates “being.”
Meanwhile, since the sun has risen in soggy boots, they are emptying the crazy dog-lady’s apartment of the garbage she left behind, one box and bag at a time. My Aunt is fighting nature’s gravity. My neighbors wonder what’s become of me. And he asked me to write a sci-fi story and I will finish it or be damned. My plants move and redden silently, my candle burns sage while I write in darkness into overcast light. I am a fool. I make mistakes. I am imperfect and unlearned, but I am not giving up, not as long as I wear an olive drab shirt that says “Marines” in black that tells me to fight and a leather necklace with ceramic beads sporting Victorian roses which asks me to bring peace. I will lean into furious rain. I will learn to love and let go of hate. I will write old things, probably, and maybe somebody will like it. My world works better when I am wet.