Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Scattered showers were predicted.

It's mid-afternoon, and a sudden crush of rain halloos and stomps and clatters on the roof. The smell of softening earth springs close behind and I lift my head from my stuporous glaze. I gather up raincoat and umbrella and dash for the stairs while co-workers tsk.

Sacramento street is a crashing river, gutters overflowing until the two streams meet in the middle of the road. I leap as broadly as I can, umbrella high, knowing I'll never clear it and not caring, it feels so good to leap, and I laugh, splashing to my shins, the water sucking at my jeans and slurping over and into the tops of my boots, my socks turning squishy and damp.

I skip my way to the park at the top of the hill, to the top of the park, where bulldozers stand, water puddling in the open seats. I can see the city below, snugged into fogbanks.

One other human is at the top of the park among the giant trees. We hold our umbrellas as lightly as helium balloons. Tufts of reddish hair decorate the perimeter of his bald head, and he grins.

Another rain lover, he says. He was visiting a friend in the hospital when he heard the clamor and had to get outside. He's lived here thirty years, but he still misses the thunderstorms in his hometown in Pennsylvania.

We bow to one another and continue on the way. My jeans are wet to my knees, and my boots won't dry for a day, maybe two. I don't care. I can turn up the heater at work, eat soup for dinner.

The rain backs off, tiptoeing away in squishing socks. When I circle back to Sacramento, the rivers are gone, already gone, the street clean and shining in their wake.


TonyB said...

Yay, Chemical Billy is back ... wonderful story.

And hey, at least you weren't in Van Ness:


Chemical Billy said...

Great video! Damn...