Rain

The rain is heavy this morning, and big. The drops looking like a badminton birdie when they hit the street. I like it like this, and it’s full of memories. The Army, walking in it for hours, finally getting to bungee cord the corners of a poncho to the trees for a hooch. It may seem like small solace to take cover from the rain when you are already soaked through with no way of getting dry, but it is a symbol of improved conditions. Exhaustion needs its symbols, lest it go unpunctuated.

There were the thunderstorms of Illinois, deliberate and grand. They announce their approach for hours, arrogant as an ancient Army behind the mandate of its gods. So different from the afternoon squalls of the Rockies. Those would fly in at 4:30 like a squadron of Zeros with the sun behind them, drop their payload and move on, leaving a smell of electricity and sage and dispersing over the great plains to the East.

The rain of the monsoons in Arizona had an extra anger to it – it felt less like it was falling and more like it was being thrown at you from above. The smell was copper and dust, your fingers after counting the coin jar.

It rained bullets in Colorado last night, and I’m gonna have to work this movie theater shooting out of my system. My parents and my brother live in Aurora. They’ve all checked in by now, safe and sound.

It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out with all of us out here in spectator land. Totally random? Domestic terrorism? Are we going to find out this guy had some kind of Batman complex and thought he was ridding Gotham of evil by gunning down its corrupt citizenry? Surely you have to assume some kind of nutjobbery to a deed like this. And he is white, so hate crime is on the table, and unless the media shuts this story down because he waves the flag of jihad, we’ll have us a Sharpton sighting toute suite.

I don’t mean to get cynical in the face of tragedy. I don’t even want to. It feels as dirty as it should. But this is what we have now, when bad things happen. A few moments to make sure our loved ones are safe, and then we hunker down and brace ourselves against the onslaught of opportunists. The media using it to shape the political landscape, a billion people who were “there, man,” and so think they are owed talk shows and interviews. Which they are, of course, but not so they can eulogize the dead with personal sales pitches thick with the words “I” and “me.” And certainly not so Diane Sawyer can muscle a feigned expression of sympathy through a wall of botox.

So I suppose I am just waiting for my turn to grieve, and internalizing it ahead of time, just as I accuse everyone else of doing afterwards. Let’s hope that when I get my chance, it rains so that I can just keep quiet and remember it in saccharine metaphors.

4 thoughts on “Rain

  1. I tried watching the never ending yakfest that is 24 hour news coverage, and they interviewed eyewitnesses, one after the other. Inarticulate, suddenly famous, bystander stars, The ones that got away, and after a minute, I stopped watching and turned off the television.
    I thought to myself, “They have nothing to say to the news hawks who have nothing to report.”

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  2. I liked your rain bits best. Rain does have a character all its own, depending on where you are. You invoking the Arizona monsoons brought one of my very favorite memories back to life: a girlfriend and I watching an early, early morning thunderstorm under the eaves of the Davis-Monthan BOQ… for what seemed like hours. It was one of those moments you wish could never end.

    The rain in England, however… that was a different story. During the winter it could resemble nothing more than a persistent heavy mist, unrelenting, penetrating, and frickin’ COLD. That crap could last for days on end, and it defined “dreary” for me, for all time.

    And one last rain thing: I remember running for the nearest bar in Angeles City (Pee-Eye) when caught in the heaviest rain I’ve ever seen… so much rain you couldn’t see the other side of the street, literally… and immediately freezing my ass off in the over-air-conditioned bar once I got inside. But there were girls with towels and San Miguel to make ya forget about the cold… 🙂

    All of the above is not to say I didn’t appreciate your take on the shooting; first and foremost I’m glad your family wasn’t involved.

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  3. Thanks, Buck. For this here, and for the linkage.

    The Seattle rain is much like your description of England’s. Just always here, annoying, persistent, and in the winter, COLD. Sucks.

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  4. Must have been a few – or more – minutes of pure blind terror before your family confirmed their safety. So relieved that they are safe; understatement of the month for sure.

    Like you, I am disgusted at all the posturing from the usual suspects and some, not so usual. Even on Facebook-everyone has their slant to share. At the heart of this is 12 innocent people dead and scores injured, some of those not out of danger yet. Focus people.

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