Words : Walking in the rain

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I like the rain. I like walks in the rain. This is a personal detail about me that you can take home and enjoy yourself, yay!

To be clear though, I like the rain. And as it happens, earlier tonight (at about midnight) it rained. The temperature outside was above 50 which made it the most excellent weather of all. I found myself, in a sudden anxious mood, the kind of mood that requires one to physically move around. And continuing to muck about on the innerwerb just wasn’t going to cut it.

I’m not quite sure why, on occasion, I come into these moods so suddenly. But most often it seems to occur when it rains heartily or after reflections on relations with specific girls. Speaking objectively, I feel quite certain that they both have something to do with it. I wonder if perhaps the rain would result from my reflections or perhaps it is reversed. I cannot say for certain either way.

Anyways, I dropped my wallet and valuables and headed out for a leisurely stroll. I headed out and began to walk down Centre Street. There are lots of store restaurants down this way so it was well lit. Oh yes, and I almost forgot. It was raining! And quite heartily too of course!

The beginning is the most refreshing part of a walk in the rain. When the wetness first begins to seep into your clothing and grab at you. When raindrops assault your eyes making it difficult to see, when sounds of many miniature mortar shells pepper nearby terrain, when each resulting explosion adds another morsel to a motley smorgasbord of delicious different sounds, when you’ve already sustained over a hundred direct hits to the face and shoulders but still you stand and still you’ll skyward say, “Come on I can take a thousand more. Is that all you have!?” and with growing pride walk onward unaffected with head held high. That is when you’ve begun a great walk in the rain.

But look. Now even your knees are bleeding, bleeding right down to your ankles and through your socks and to the toes. The dampness causes chills but there is a growing pride withinside your chest and now it bursts into fiery passion that spreads and warms every finger and every toe.

Well… at least that’s what happens to me… At any rate I strolled with fearless fury towards destinations unknown. Coming to an intersection I peered down a dark street I’d never seen. I won’t call it an alley because it still had a sidewalk and the houses on it looked nice. So down I went. Passing several houses I noticed that some of them were really nice. White picket fences and everything right here near the heart of Boston. That’s the American dream right?

Owning a house… white picket fences… barbeque in the backyard… that’s supposed to be the dream right? It didn’t sit with me. I don’t want a white-picket fence… I think. My dream is different… right? What is my dream? …I have many dreams… are they all the same dream? I think maybe my dream is wholly incomplete. Yes, that’s it. My dream is currently incomplete. Though I’ve uncovered pieces of it, pieces which lead me to believe my dream has nothing to do with fences or barbeques or property ownership. Perhaps it has something to do with this rain?

I’ve come to the end of the street and Jamaica Pond lies before me. The rain has subsided now but there is still a pleasant pitter patter of raindrops around me.

I walked down a bike path next to the pond’s edge. Several ducks that were floating motionless in the water began to stir as I walked past nearby. I stopped. They paddled over to me to see what I was up to. I stood there watching and they came up to about 10 ft. off the shoreline before deciding that I wasn’t going to feed them, I guess. They turned around and paddled away.

The ducks seemed significant to me at the time but now I can’t remember why. I remember thinking I could write something rather poetic about the way the tree branches on the edge of the water seemed to stretch down towards the water as if desiring to drown themselves in the pond’s murky depths. But now I think that’s kind of dumb too.

I walked down past a park bench and thought it would feel pretty cold to sit on it because it was as wet as me and a quiet breeze had started to pick up.

So I sat on the bench. It made chills run up my back. I felt the exchange of heat as the bench got warmer and drier while my bottom got colder and wetter. I’d like to think the bench was appreciative of this gift and so I didn’t feel disheartened about choosing to sit on the bench.

The view was very nice from the bench. The water reflected many of the city lights that shined through the trees on the opposite side. But I’m a pessimistic person so I started to think that the view was really a worthless thing to behold and that any sort of insightful meaning that I might try to attribute to it would be empty and trite. But I’m very pessimistic about such pessimistic perspectives so I felt better about looking at the view.

I gazed at the skyline for another short while and then got up to head home. My stroll had gone in somewhat of a semi-circle so I didn’t have too far to walk home.

It’s hard to describe a walk in the rain really. I think there’s something sensual about it but maybe not knowingly. Well, I’d at least agree to say that, for me, it’s a passionate sort of venture.

It’s chilly walking back to my apartment but I still wish it would start raining harder.

It didn’t rain harder.

And so I’ve come to the end of my stroll and I’ve come inside to change out of these soaking clothes, which sit on the floor in front of me now. And I’ve written it all down while the particulars are still fresh in my head. I guess now there’s not much more to say which seems to have worked for the best as I sense that your own eyes grow heavy. So I think I’ll just put down this laptop now and nod off to sleep myself. Oh, and goodnight to you as well.

-Nathan Larson

-January 12, 2006