The rain began ten days ago, and hasn’t let up once—not even for a moment. Relentless and unceasing it falls in a seeming attempt to cover the surface of the earth in a deluge of Biblical proportions.
My umbrella ceased to function the morning of the third day, which means that I’ve gone eight full days now dashing from house to car, to store, to car, to work, to car, and then home to wring out my clothes, and then fall exhausted into bed only to rise and begin the whole blasted routine all over again come first light.
On the fourth day, the overtaxed storm drainage system began vomiting its excess into the gutters, thus creating a sizeable obstacle to anyone desiring entrance to the office building where I watch the minutes of my life tick away. And thank God my office is on the third floor, else I’d be treading water instead of sitting in a mediocre chair in a coffin-sized office still trying to figure out what I want to do with my life.
On the fifth day, the local constabulary closed the business district citing unsafe conditions as the reason for the closure. Not that anyone was out and about by then save for the looters who seemed neither hindered nor intimidated by the violent weather.
I hate the rain! I hate the way it beats spitefully against my window as if to say, “This thin, flimsy glass can’t withstand me forever, so you’d best not be getting too comfortable.” No worries there. I’ve never been comfortable even in the best of times.
The electricity went on the sixth day leaving the city’s residents shivering in the dark and wondering if their houses were built on ground sufficiently high to escape the rushing torrents below.
On the seventh day, ah yes, on the seventh day my old friend despair paid a return visit. There’s nothing quite like sitting alone in a dreary, run-down apartment with no electricity, no heat, precious little food and no compelling reason to continue one’s existence.
I’m not usually this maudlin, so I must beg your forgiveness as well as your indulgence. You see, what I haven’t told you is that the beginning of the rain—the very night it started, actually—brought the end of my life, or, at the very least, life as I had known and loved it for a season.
“I can’t do this anymore, Harold,” was all the hastily written and poorly folded note had said. It had been thrust into my hand, soaking wet from the downpour. A quick, insincere peck on the cheek, a sad little movement of her lips that was more of a twitch than a smile, and then she was gone, splashing through the rain as she ran to hail what would be the final taxi of the night.
I stood there feeling quite ill at ease at so insubstantial a parting; not knowing that everything I had ever loved had just been torn from my grasp.
At first I couldn’t make out the words, standing as I was in the rain—an apt metaphor for the sad little scene. When I was finally able to decipher her stiletto-like message, feel its steely point sink deeply into my heart, I am ashamed to admit that I sat down. I sat down right there on that cold, cold cement sidewalk and wept, my tears inconsequential against the rain.
Not that it had been a long affair, a scant three months in duration, but it had been good. It had been so very, very good. To paraphrase a line from Les Misérables, “She spent a summer by my side, she filled my days with endless wonder.”
And so she had.
I had even allowed myself to believe that she was the one. Only the reality of my grief eclipses the error of my thinking.
Were it possible for any of my friends to contact me, I’m certain there would be the usual patter one hears during times of bereavement from well-meaning friends and casual acquaintances alike, “You’re too good for her.” “You’ll be better off without her, you’ll see.” “Someone will come along and make you forget all about her.”
The thing is…I don’t want to forget about her. I want to remember when our hearts beat as one and nothing else existed in the earth except we two. I want to believe that one day she’ll come to her senses and return to me.
And so, I’ll wait.
Not forever, mind you, but wait I shall for a season and a day if necessary.
The silly dreams of a mad fool? Perhaps. But, then, one must have a dream or surrender one’s reason for existence.
It’s funny…I can’t hear the rain.