Wednesday, October 21, 2009

RAIN

city rain drops Pictures, Images and Photos

It seems like it's been raining for weeks now. Has it? Perhaps. I know I've seen moments of sunshine, but by the time they finish blinding me, they're gone and it's back to dismal.

I love it when it rains like this. It suits me. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a sunny day... but if there has to be a spell of something, I would rather have a wet spell than a dry one. I don't like extended periods of perfect weather. They dry the soil and they dry my bones. I prefer the water.

The summer of 1992 was rainy. In my memory it rained all the time. That summer marked the beginning of my wasted early twenties. I was twenty one years old and was subletting an apartment in downtown New Haven with two close friends. It was an ugly and magnificent summer.

The apartment was great. Perfect for us. One long narrow hallway with the three bedroom doors lining up like soldiers, a living area that we almost never used at one end of that hallway and a huge bathroom at the other end. The wood floors were painted a glossy gray, and in my mind the walls were light gray, but they could have been white, it may have been the rain that made everything gray.

The mechanics of my life were ordinary. I was in night school trying to get my bachelors, I was nannying for a family I adored during the day, and I was cocktail waitressing at night. I was getting by, sort of. What was extraordinary was my state of mind. I lost myself that summer. I cut myself off from most friends and family members, and was a little amazed at how few people reacted to that. I felt like I'd died. It wasn't sad, just strange, and helium like.

I was trying to overcome a broken heart. Not solely the work of a foul boy, but also the realization that I couldn't blame my mother and father for my human shortfalls any longer. This was news to me. And then there was the disappointment that oozed out of everyone close to me; disappointment that I dropped out of two colleges, disappointed that I couldn't get myself together, disappointed in things I don't know if I'll ever understand. It was more than I could tolerate, so I simply disappeared. The only problem with that disappearing act was that people could still see me.

I have a close friend who describes a night during this period when she saw me walking downtown, alone and obviously drunk. Yes, I was 21 and I drank a lot that summer. I was disappearing, remember. And I wasn't driving, so at least there's that....anyway, she tells the story, and in her version I am disheveled and "out of it" and she walked away deeply concerned about my well being. That friend and I became extremely close years later, and I suppose I could have shared with her the secret, if it ever came up, which is simply: but for that summer I would have ceased to exist.

You see, when you're lost what you have to do is begin to find yourself again. Some don't do it. They get lost and they stay where they are, unable to move forward, unable to move back. They stay still and the only thing that changes is their age. They get old and it surprises them. Music changes, hairstyles, trends, the world goes on and they just don't. That's the thing that scared me the most. That was the impetus for me to move, and keep on moving until I found the exit sign.


I digress. The rain. My bedroom in the sub let was huge. The best part was the window. It matched the scale of the room and I kept it open and let the drizzle in all summer. Many mornings I woke to pigeons on my window sill, miraculous and soothing.

I spent time in that rainy purgatory somewhere between child and adult. I read books, tried to concentrate on homework, showed up for all of my jobs on time, and had my wisdom teeth removed.

I fell in love a few times, and a few times was fallen in love with... but these were brief affairs. I was too unstable for that kind of thing. How can you be in a relationship when you are a ghost?

The thing is.... I needed that rainy, strange, summer of 1992. I needed it because it gave me strength and sense of self that I would hold onto in the turbulent years ahead. I revisited that room in my mind,. I revisited the window and the stack of books next to my bed. I revisited the rain, the rain that became the life boat. The life boat that I jumped on and rode through the rapids with all of my might to get past the 'stuck' and into the world of the living.

Thank God for the rain. Bring it on.

*Note: This is a repost. YES the dreaded repost. But we are supposed to be unplugged, and I wrote this before I had followers anyway... so there.* Also, My dear Fellow Wednesday, Cassandra, has posted a lovely sonnet on our blog The Wednesday Chronicles. Check it out.

29 comments:

  1. Yes, Rain limits the possibilities so we can get down to business...nice post. -Jayne

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  2. Just lovely. I know how you feel about reposts too, it's somehow not fair that by the time you get followers all these things you had to say are buried back in the past and few people seek them out.

    I don't trust all those people who spent their early twenties knowing exactly what they wanted to do and who they wanted to be. I'm not friends with anybody like that.

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  3. Thanks for stopping by and following. I love your blog and this story. I'll be back.

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  4. I, for one, am grateful for reposts. Otherwise, I never would have gotten to read this lovely post. It's raining today in Albuquerque, NM. It almost never rains here, yet it's been raining steadily all day--since last night. I can see you in that time of your life, struggling in the rain to find yourself. I so understand about being lost. Wanting to be invisible. Exquisite writing, Suzanne. So glad you found you.
    Karen

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  5. The rain helps me lose myself inside with my computer or books - napping with my cat. When it is sunny I always feel that "I should" go out into the world. Thank goodness I live in Seattle so I don't have to deal with the sun too often!

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  6. Jayne~ welcome!
    Mr. London: I always appreciate your comments
    Peach- WELCOME! I heart your blog
    Karen: THANK YOU. I was worried about this one. Kind of log for a post. Wrote it back before I knew blogging was sort of truncated... you know?

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  7. Slacker: I always thought I belonged in Seattle!

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  8. One of my favorite lines from a movie is "God is in the rain." I wrote a post about it actually, called Deluge. It's how I feel about rain too.
    I guess God just really knows what He's doing.

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  9. BTW, BEAUTIFUL, excellent post. Regardless of when it was written.

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  10. I haven't read it before, so repost or not, it's new to me. And it's beautiful.

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  11. I adore a dark and rainy day, probably even more than a sunny one.

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  12. What's wrong with reposts? I was thinking of doing one or two myself. Your story is wonderfully expressed. It seemed personal but perhaps that was the 1st person narration. A lot can happen in life within a short period of time. It seemed the narrator had come full circle with self-discovery. Experiences prepare us for the unseen no matter how depressing they seem at the time. Hope I'm making sense. Anyways, enjoyed it as usual.

    PS: I love rain. Wish it could rain everyday.

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  13. Beautiful post. There's a novel in this, or perhaps you've already written it?

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  14. Well, I am so glad you reposted it! I keep saying this, but one of these days, (in lieu of reading a book or, you know, goofing off on Youtube) I am going to sit down and read through all your posts.
    They are all so ridiculously good!

    PS: Today is the first day of the week it hasn't rained here. The sun and I had trouble recognizing each other, but we're catching up! ;)

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  15. I LOVE this picture. So beautiful!!

    xoxo -- Hilary

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  16. I love the rain. I love the water. I love your words :) And you are right, when we lose ourselves the thing to do is get found. Find yourself. Funny thing is that no one can do that for you. I know. I tried to make them. Didn't work so well.I found me in the end. She wasn't the girl who I thought she would be. And I'm glad. I like her better.

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  17. I enjoyed it, thanks for re-posting! :O)

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  18. That is a powerful piece of work!

    Secretia

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  19. Beautiful writing, as always. :)

    Rainy days are my favorite. I love in December when we get like three days in a row of cloudy skies and rain. I'm so jealous of your weeks of rain. I'd be in Heaven. All we get are months and months of sunshine. I guess some people would appreciate that. ;)

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  20. We had a few precious drops of rain here today, all too rare. Enjoyed your tale, as always :)

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  21. ''You see, when you're lost what you have to do is begin to find yourself again.''

    i agreed
    well...sucha nice way u gave got of looking into your past..
    :-)

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  22. Funny yesterday I was remembering a time that I was lost...cronologically, about the same time you were in your life. This week I'm feeling a few pieces of me slipping back to that rainy place, it is all I can do to hang on to them. I will though.

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  23. All! New friends and old friends... thanks so much! I didn't expect a lot of comments on this post because it is so LONG!!!! I appreciate all of them. XO S

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  24. love the long posts from you! And I didn't visit here back when it was originally posted. I have a history of disappearing (more accurately for me, being unheard and invisible). It's part of a theme that I think many of us share :)

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  25. and THANK YOU for the repost! Disappearing is such sweet sorrow.

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  26. I'm so glad that you re-posted this, because it gives me a personal glimpse of you that I hadn't really felt before (in large part because I haven't been coming here that long). You know, that something that makes you remember someone as a person and not just as their blog title. I'm a good bit older than you, so I've mostly come here because I simply like your writings, enjoy seeing how you put words together. But this post, it takes me back to when I was 18-21, striking out on my own, drinking too much and dating too much and falling in love too easily, looking for something or someone to give me direction. I will remember you much easier now, as I see that we had much at common during the same phase of our lives, even though they were decades apart! The one glaring difference in us is that I HATE the rain, other than for the purpose of watering my garden and replenishing our land's water supply!

    Excellent post. Truly.

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  27. After 22 years in Las Vegas where it pretends to rain, I am going to Oregon where it rains, rains, rains. My husband is having an anxiety attack, he doesn't want to go where it is so wet. But, as I say stamping my foot - "It's my turn!" I love rain.

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  28. "that rainy purgatory somewhere between child and adult".
    Suzanne, this is so helpful a phrase and a post in trying to understand what some teenagers go through. I never went through it myself, so I thank you for explaining it.
    I hate rain, guess we get too much of it here.

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