Remembering the rain


May 7, 1980


Iím here for good, done finally with the journal I was keeping for my English professor, Dr. Kloss.

This is really where I wanted to be all along, exploring at Dr. Kloss said in quoting Hemingway, my own life and those who pass through it.

Rain cascades over the world outside, scrubbing clean Passaicís dirty streets, while the day to day temperatures lately, have gone from 50 to 90 and back again.

Clouds stretch across the sky like a puffy gray quilt, and I huddle under the roof of my tiny porch Ė more of a mudroom than a porch Ė and endure the heavy, moist air.

The car port looks particularly pathetic, garage doors leaning in and at odd angles like a line of drunks, and with broken windows inviting regular visitations by the flocks of pigeons the parish house chased way from the nearby church every morning.

But I like the wrens best, who flick around the yard pecking at the concrete for bits of food too tiny for anyone to see.

I sit here listening to the gurgle of water down the drain pipes, as much pouring out of the rusted holes in their long sides as down from the spout at bottom. But the rain comes steadily enough to leave wide swaths of water at the mouth of each pipe, and these are peppered with the continually falling rain, pockmarked reflections that almost mirror the gray clouded sky.

These puddles do not form bubbles like the rain used on the porch roof outside my window back home when I was a kid. I used to watch them form and would follow their progress towards the holes that led to the drain at the corner of the room, cheering on each bubble with the hope that it would arrive safely and disappear before being burst by the continued fall of rain drops. Each was a soldier or just an ordinary person struggling to reach some destination in the hellish hailstorm life often is.

We all live our lives in a kind of personal hell, trying to get through to something we really need before someone or something bursts our bubbles.

I had a tough childhood, according to several professors Iíve talked to about it, and yet Iíve survived.† I grew up like one of the weeds in the cracks of pavement, somehow able to thrive when many who grew up like I did, could not.

And even if Iím not particularly well-off these days Ė living in a cold water flat that lives up to every bit of its name in winter Ė itís my little haven against the wrath of nature and the world.

I have my destination Iím trying to reach, seeking to reach it with my bubble still intact. Of course, I often wonder if anyone will read these words or if I will get anything near the recognition as a writer I want.
I have no crystal ball.

Words are fickle things, lingering on the edge of my pen, dripping onto the page, making their way from end to end with no guarantee that they will accomplish what they set out to do before vanishing in the deluge of reality.

So I write for myself, knowing that this word or that will survive inside of me, and that at some point in the near or distant future, Iíll be the one reading them, and remembering the rain.




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