In this semi-desert, land of frequent drought, it has been raining off and on for over a week, with at least a weeks’ worth more predicted . . . and I find myself slipping into a rainy state of mind . . . thinking about all things rain-ish . . . looking for some kind of theme.
So what all is there to say about the rain? Indulge me while I b-rainstorm.
Well, it falls. That we know. And sometimes it blows sideways in the wind. Sometimes it drives into you like wet spikes, and other times it shimmers a little in the right light, and think of all the times it just SPLATS on your head, or the sidewalk, or your windshield . . . occasionally it drizzles, which is a kind of rain, I guess, but without depth, character, imagination . . . when real rain can’t quite get it together, sometimes it mists instead, but misting is a really lame form of rain–it shows no commitment, no vigor . . . then there’s the hard, pelting kind that drums and rattles on the roof, and the kind that showers down, but quietly . . .
My favorite kind of rain is the hardcore thunderstorm kind, the stuff that pours down in sheets, punctuated by flickers of lightning and tympanic thunder so close that it seems to shake the house . . .
We had a storm like that a few months back, probably the loudest thunder I’ve ever heard, like a clutch of cave trolls on the front porch, banging on gigantic sheets of galvanized steel with spiked clubs and mallets . . . even the cat was awestricken . . .
And what about things we associate with rain . . . like that pre-rain smell in the air that portends a storm . . . the post-rain smells of wet sidewalks and asphalt . . . the ticking sound of water dripping from the eaves . . . the hissing sound of tires as cars drive by . . . the subdued mood of rainy days, colors diluted and washed out . . . that thin gray light that filters through the windows . . .
I remember one winter in particular, a lot of years ago, when it started raining in December and didn’t stop (it felt that way, at least) for three months . . . The rain seemed to morph into another dimension, evolving into the most enigmatic character in a bleak and existentialist novel . . . the streets were always flooded . . . my shoes were always wet . . . after awhile it seemed like everything was underwater . . . the sun was a distant memory . . .
. . . and my life seemed to submerge as well . . . I’d been married for less than a year, and my husband and I were already separated . . . drifting in opposite directions . . .
. . . on Friday and Saturday nights I hydroplaned my way across town to a funky downtown Japanese restaurant and bar . . . there I could sit alone or not, smoke cigarettes and drink gin and tonics . . . flirt vaguely with the disaffected singer in a disaffected rock band who sometimes sat at the other end of the bar . . . sometimes I’d try to match the two drunken Japanese businessmen, pitcher of saké by pitcher of saké . . . got sick off the stuff once and never touched it again . . . even today, the smell of saké curls my tongue and makes me want to puke . . .
. . . throughout it all, the soundtrack to my life was the Dire Straits album, Love Over Gold . . . the title song lyrics said it all . . . “So stay with me baby, and I’ll take you away, from out of this darkness and into the day . . . “
. . . a great–maybe even inspired–album . . . and today, almost 30 years later, I still have trouble listening to it . . .
. . . music has the power to delve deep into the subterranean regions of our souls . . . just like the rain . . .