Sometimes, when a storm is not raging but merely passing through outside the countless squares of a screened window, I like to go for a walk or a run, in the wet and the wild, with a nigh inaudible exhalatory thing through the fingers stretched across my perpetually chapped lips.
That smell of the petrichor, delicate in the air, brings brightness to my face in a snap, breathing deep, tasting smells, unprocessable water vapor tugging at the patience of frustrated alveoli. That feel of the droplets on skin, stepping out from a garish sunshade or overhang, is one of life’s most pleasant sensations, and I look up at the sky, into celestium obscured, and I see the C-beams glittering near the Tannhauser Gate.
My mind turns to everyone I know, have known, they flash through my head fragmented like a zoetrope of Facebook friend profile pictures, awkward, hilarious, and awesome. Uniquely technicolor beams in the sky for each and all and one.
But I’m cool, and everything is alright.
My feet carry me along the streets in a daylight of translucent graphite and I hop over the odd puddle with an anchor’s grace. Sometimes I stamp on them, if my socks are soaked anyway, and I’m some ten-year old again, with no fear of colds or starvation, front teeth missing in a stilted school picture that grandma would show to other grandmas.
Shirt smelted to flesh, I spike my hair with one hand, the keratin strands barely resisting. It yawps away at passing people, safe behind glass and steel, air colored by engine stagnation aswirl around them on the way to nowhere for American Chinese lo mein.
It’s coming down heavier now and feet carry me forward with corresponding gusto. All clothes like plaster, I’ve become a tortilla-slapped pillar, cutting holes in the water cycle, soothing to the muscles pumping out lactic acid by the metric assload but numb to blessed agony by virtue of poesy and the fact that I am, in actuality, kinda fuckin cold.
A spritz of sweat-flavored rain rolls onto my lips, with a waterfall of a thousand others, and I’m tasting sodium laced water molecules that passed through the body of Bloody Mary, Queen of Scots, with an acrid, ashey aftertaste. My eyes begin to burn, the Victoria falls down my face mingling with basic, broken optics. Acidic, gnashing nails.
I stop and blink. Over and over. I can’t see quite as clearly.
The water from the heavens senses my struggle, lightens up to better facilitate my runner’s retracing. Except it doesn’t sense anything. It’s a weather pattern during the period of time in the history of this planet in which we’re optimized to live. Elsewhere, and who gives a shit, solar winds bake the very atoms from your DNA in vacuous nothing and OGLE iron rain melts us like Dali’s tuft.
Sometimes I just want to go to Disney World.
But it’s Topeka.
And I’m running back to safety on the 21st Street thoroughfare of boredom and petrol, past the insincere giant teddy bear with a touch of Eckleburg in his gaze, and the Trinity Church of Presbyters of Free Yoga positively gushing pamphlets of comforting, pretty words.
Attack ships are on fire off the shoulder of Orion and the rain is still falling as I reach the porch, free and wild and ocularly cocked.
For a moment there, all those moments were lost.
And that was just fine.
Pleasantest of eves to yeh, laddies ‘n lasses.
Some notes: This was inspired by this speech from the 1982 film Blade Runner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HU7Ga7qTLDU
And because no one will get this reference, but that’s ok I just felt like including it, and I heart astronomy, OGLE stands for Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment. There was a planet found through this with (maybe) a rather peculiar weather anomaly. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OGLE-TR-56b