Saturday, February 26, 2011

A story or Two


She didn’t understand why they leapt and darted, as if playing “tag you’re it” with corrosive acid. She just stood there watching them scramble and shriek, diving for cover. The elegantly coiffed and painted were always the first to make shelter, frantically gesturing to their children or companions to join them - “Quick, get out of the rain”, the ornamented cry.

She never understood the disdain people showed for rain; the very thing that, next to air, oozed life and kept it from extinction. So, She just watched them in their dry asylums, convulsing and shaking off the droplets as if ridding themselves of some parasite.

When the Dry Folk finally cleared the street, She peeled herself free of her coat, letting it puddle at her feet. Then She slipped off her shoes and felt the cold wet concrete wrap its fingers around her toes, creeping up her body - prickling her skin. As She stepped out from under the awing She could hear the mummers of the parched people skittering around behind her - “What IS she doing?” “Is she nuts?”

They didn’t understand, they were too busy being mad at being wet. Too busy to reach out and touch the life that danced all around them. She wished She could be naked so that She could feel the rain on every square inch of her. Of course, that would just confirm the suspicions of The Dry Folk, so instead She rolled up her sleeves and held out her arms allowing the droplets to temporarily rest upon her - caressing every nerve before continuing their journey toward Terra firma. She felt it then, the ancientness - the life that has been here before, returning over and over. For just a moment She only felt, taking a blissful retreat from thinking and doing and paying attention. She just let the rain wash away every distraction; listening only to the whispers of the drops descending toward renewal.

When the cloud passed and sun emerged, the Dry Folk scowled, blinking hurriedly into the light and skittered on their way, cursing the wet and the bright - displeased with all that dear Mother Nature had to offer. She stood there a moment longer, turning her closed eyes toward the warm glow. They are missing this too, she thought - the poor Dry Folk, so many moments they let just pass them by.

She rolled down her sleeves, grabbed her coat and in a quiet voice She said to the puddle on the ground and the sun in the sky, “Thank You, that was fun” and She was quickly whisked away into the crowd.


“This is what I do everyday, because this is how it goes – it must be done this way to keep it at bay, keep it controlled”. Over and over she chanted, letting the words slam against her brain like those relentless waves Tsunamis’ sic upon the shore. Those other thoughts were not allowed to take hold. No, She kept them under lock and key; fierce avoidance was her motto. But twice, in the blink of a week, the Daring Ruminations showed up unannounced – without so much as a cataclysmic event to bring them about. This morning, as in every morning past, She carries her coffee cup to the contemplation window. Some mornings She watches the people pass by, casually wondering the Who, What and Why of their lives. These were not the troublemaker thoughts. Other mornings involved gazing at the flowers and things that crawl and what She should do about the patio that has given up any pretense of being habitable by anything other than creepy crawlies. It was the Ghost Thoughts that were so devastating; more vicious than being bombarded by PMS in the middle of Baskin-Robbins. Ghost Thoughts were those movements you see out of the corner of your eye, but disappear whenever you turn your head. They don’t play hide and seek well, they want you to work for it; “open yourself up and we’ll come out of hiding” they whisper in your ear. But she refuses to open. Bad things happen when you let ideas take hold; things like expectations, risks that crucify confidence and funeral pyres that consume esteem. What a nuisance these thoughts could be. No, she’s going to make them go away. She’s going to refuse to contemplate what she ‘should’ do. She’s going to refuse to participate in the world, no use in contemplating what ‘could’ be. It only leads to inflated hopes that turn to vapor. Who needs that kind of grief? It is far better to disengage, sink into the comfort of the status quo, leave no ripples in the surface as she takes her last breath and sinks into the abyss. It is as it should be, as is expected when one fails to seize the opportunities of youth. She brushes at her forehead with soft feathery strokes as if She can just sweep the thoughts away. The touching of her own skin jars her from cocoon and she takes a sip of her empty cup while watching the rain fall. She’ll be back here again tomorrow, perhaps then she will be able to put those Ghost Thoughts to rest, make them see the light. Or, is I the other way around? Maybe she needs another cup of coffee.

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