It starts the moment you open your eyes — this morning just feels different. The air is cool, and it’s still a little dark outside your window, and the sky intends to stay that way for the rest of the day (again, you can feel it). And you let it. Go ahead, sky. Cry. It’ll give me an excuse to wear more black, and it’ll bring everything to life.

Blue in Green – Miles Davis

These are my favorite kinds of days: rainy ones, or as I like to call them, old friends who just don’t visit enough. An occasional holiday, sure — sometimes rain will stop by on Thanksgiving, but he changes when Christmas rolls around and won’t return to his best self until spring. That’s OK. We’ll give him his time. Maybe his infrequency is precisely what makes him so alluring to me, anyway — so scrumptious.

Brandy Alexander – Feist

Splashing my black loafers in a quasi-shallow puddle is relief. Exiting my apartment building and popping up my black umbrella straight away, allowing it to stretch its arms around my bust and head, on top of which sits a frizzy black moss of human land, is comfort. My umbrella embraces me. It interacts with the rain — a durable mediator, not shield, through which nothing penetrates and everything sings. She, my umbrella, lets me listen to him, the rain. And he whispers to me, chitter chatter, pat pat, everything is going to be OK. It’s OK.

Grey Room – Damien Rice

So, I walk to class. It’s a Wednesday, and I feel quite alive, like everything else around me, and I’ve never been more thrilled to be uncommon. It’s been like this all week: steady water, tiny teardrops on windows who are prone to wandering, like me (they always try to glisten). It’s a pity to sit in class, I think, but when I get there I’m happy to be nestled in some lower-level room, discussing Virginia Woolf, rain still there for me when my eyes and my ears need a 30-second holiday.

Coffee. I walk to the warm, yellow square to get some, and its windows have teardrops, too. I’m still thinking about Jacob and his Room — the Woolf novel, of course, because the real Jacob on my mind is not a Jacob and I miss the room of his chest, his arms around me, better than a black umbrella.

But she’ll do for now. And the brown potion hits my lips, and I take a break from listening to the rain for a bit, and I think about Friday night’s wine hitting my lips. I feel as if I’ve had a little wine already, though. That’s what the rain does to me. It cleanses, it cleans, it calms. Jeff Buckley does that, too.

Lilac Wine – Jeff Buckley

Drunk as drunk I walk to my next class, bouncing from puddle to puddle, and I talk about poetry for an hour or so. I volunteer a few words. This girl reads a Frank O’Hara poem all about splitting a Coke with someone you love, and I feel like crying because it’s perfect and conversational and if I had cried right there I would’ve matched the sky, the gray sky, my favorite sky.

Coney Island Baby – Lou Reed

The glory of love, Lou Reed sings, and the rain sings it, too. It’s steady, and the smell is blank and crisp and somehow exposes all the other smells on the street. Most of them are nice, a cup of coffee, a bit of garbage, the punch-in-the-face perfume of a passerby. My umbrella is hugging me again and I have to go to work, and I’m happy to have its company, to have my own company. The rain reminds me of that as I run across the street to my next place in this city, this world, and for some reason I smile as I’m running and the mystery and the wonder and the uncertainty and beauty — all drops of rain the umbrella can’t block as it shifts, and it always shifts — hit me. But they don’t so much as hit me as they do play with my moss, land on me, drop, drop, gently.

And they glisten. And they’ll glisten until I close my eyes that night and hope the next morning feels just as different as today’s different.


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