Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Wet Solitude

I hold my umbrella in one hand and my cellphone in the other. I'm using it to change my voicemail at work. The puddles squish beneath my shoes as I walk along the sidewalk to the train platform. My long grey raincoat protects my legs pretty well, but there always seems to be some place that gets wet that shouldn't. I shift the umbrella while I put my cellphone back into my pocket. Cold water runs down the framework of the umbrella. The small stream finds my semi-open collar and cascades down my back. I grimace at the sensation; this wet, wake-up call.
Who needs morning coffee?
Slowly I mount the stairs and turn right to walk toward my usual spot. The platform is empty. Up ahead I can see one dozen or more commuters all huddled underneath the small platform roof. Some have umbrellas in their hands; all are closed. There are no sounds of conversation. The rain has muted their voices. I stop at my usual position and stand firm.
I glance at the overhead message board. All trains are running on or near schedule. Good. When I look back at the shelter, I see that I am now the topic of silent conversation.
All eyes are on me; the lone commuter who did not come in from the rain. I am too far away for any clear expressions to be seen but I am one and they are many. Clearly, I am in the wrong.
I ignore their collective gaze and look down the track. No headlight yet.
The recent rain has caused an explosion of green around the neighborhood. The smell of wet earth is pungent. There is a fresh look to everything. Even in the rainstorm it is beautiful. Wet greenery.
I listen to the raindrops as they pelt my umbrella. The steady "thump thump thump" of the raindrops are randomly broken up by larger drops that fall from the tree branches overhead. Not long afterwards the rhythm seems constant. It is soothing to me.
As I stare at nothing the greenery down the track is slowly bathed in an artificial light. The train is here. As it approaches I wait until the last second to close my umbrella, give it a quick shake and then board the first car. Looking at those commuters who joined me from under the platform roofing I see that they are no more wet or dry than I am.


Blogger FoxInDetox said...

Pure genius. You, my friend, are a writer.

9:35 AM, April 29, 2008  
Blogger Bridget said...

A trifecta of excellent posts. I think this daily blogging has done well by you. You seem to be in a very cool place in your own head that you are able to easily share with all of us. Thanks for another lovely morning walk.

10:38 AM, April 29, 2008  
Blogger Cynthia said...

Looking at those commuters who joined me from under the platform roofing I see that they are no more wet or dry than I am.

But perhaps you are more alive for it.

Reminds me of the movie Tootsie when Bill Murray said he wished he had a theatre that was only open when it rained, that people who came to the theatre in a rainstorm were truly alive. Of course, his character was being an esoteric ass but I thought he had a point.

Loved the post.

P.S. You are a true creature of habit, aren't you?

11:42 AM, April 29, 2008  
Blogger Summer Ryan Doyle said...

Being from Vegas, I relish any chance I get to stand in the rain. I don't know if this Massachusetts weather will ever beat that instinct out of me.

Great post again, Andy.

2:41 PM, April 29, 2008  
Blogger Letera said...

Thanks for the pic of rain on the window. It was a beautiful site. Send it my way in Flagstaff! We need rain bad, getting so damn dry.
I truely do love reading your blogs! I always feel like I am there.

9:20 PM, April 29, 2008  

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