Wake up slowly to a jinn’s low howl, the wind forcing itself through the minuscule slivers of space in the building’s infrastructure. Your apartment feels a little cooler than usual. You pull the blankets closer to your chin. The rain comes to join the cry of the wind, shedding melodic tears that patter against the ground. You shiver.

It hasn’t rained in months, maybe almost a year.

Turn to your alarm clock. 7:30 am and it’s a Saturday. No need to wake up this early. Yet falling back asleep feels like neglect somehow, to ignore the world outside crooning its lament. Wipe the sleep from your eyes. Secure with an elastic your curls that have become unruly overnight, brown silk rubbing against the rough white cotton of your pillow. Let involuntary tears of morning swim down the hills and valleys of your face, as you stretch your arms toward the sky like an offering.

Sit up and swivel toward the edge of your bed. Let your bare feet make contact with the icy floor. Those ceramic tiles are the first feature of this uninsulated house to gather the cold, to store it within its atoms. You can always sense the imminent turn of seasons or arrival of strange weather by the subtle drop in surface temperature of the tiles.

Cross the room, to the window facing the Latin church. Press the button that pulls up the motorized blinds. Protect your eyes as light pours incrementally into the room, bouncing against the window, filling corners and casting shadows as it bumps up against the desk, the bookshelf. The light is gray, not the kind that suffices to illuminate the pages of a worn paperback novel as you read in bed. You long for the golden light that comes with sunny days. But then you remind yourself:

It hasn’t rained in months, maybe almost a year.

Habit tells you that this is a day to stay home, enveloped in fleece pajamas and bundled in the throw blankets that adorn the living room sofa. Instinct tells you to go outside, to bear witness to the sky’s melancholic display of yearning. On this rainy day, you obey instinct.

Pull on your tall black boots and an oversized knit sweater. Wrap yourself with the only real winter coat you’ve purchased for this mostly arid country, one made of wool. Hope that your flimsy travel umbrella will be enough to protect you and your permeable clothing from the torrent of teardrops falling from above. Pack your bag with that paperback novel you would have liked to read in bed under other celestial circumstances.

Open your front door, and then open your umbrella, since it’s bad luck to open the latter indoors. Delight in the wind as it tickles your face, a sensation you’ve nearly forgotten after so many days with air that stands still. Watch as tiny floods gather on patches of sidewalk, miniature rivers flowing down the slope of the streets. Draw one more loop from the scarf around your neck. Gather yourself and walk against the elements.

Notice that most of the shops and restaurants in your neighborhood have not yet opened for the day, and maybe they won’t at all. Remark that it feels somewhat like a rare snow day in your frosty midwestern hometown, no work, no school. Pass by one cafe with the lights on, a handful of patrons nursing their stiff black coffees and reading the morning paper.

Duck in, wipe the rain from your boots, from your unruly curly hair that could not find sanctuary under the flimsy umbrella. Order your drink at the counter, find yourself a seat. Notice the jazz music playing softly. It does not drown out the noises of the world, but rather forms a duet with them. Trumpets sound and the husky voice of Louis Armstrong harmonizes with the whistle of wind and percussion of raindrops.

Drink your thick, milky tea saturated with crystal white sugar. Pull out your paperback novel and keep it on the table in front of you, but opt instead to watch as water forms spinning galaxies and shooting stars against the condensation-fogged window. Savor this moment. Days like these don’t come often.

It hasn’t rained in months, maybe almost a year.

6 thoughts on “7. on a rainy day

  1. Such a beautiful story sweetheart!! I feel like I’m living it through your writing, love every little detail, so creative and so real!
    You are my pride and joy! QDTB🙏❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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