Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Rain

It's 4:10 AM and I feel like I wrote all of this in a fever dream of some kind. No idea what it's going to look like in the morning, but it felt deep, man. So I'm going to let it ride. Take it or leave it, this is what comes out of my brain at this time of night.

It's finally getting to be my favorite time of year: thunderstorm season. I'm not talking about the big suckers that roll through and actually damage things. I like the long ones- that rumble and flash all night long and just rain and rain and rain. It's the kind of night where you wonder why you picked up overtime at all, because between the rain and the thunder you could sleep forever and so, so easily.

I had an hour to kill between the end of my shift and the start of my overtime, so I retrieved the car from the lot at the bottom of the hill and drove it up to the parking ramp. With time on my hands, I didn't want to park in the lower levels for my quick escape in the morning. I drove up the length of the ramp instead, heading for the roof and noting where the rain poured down in torrents of water through the seams of the concrete on the upper levels. 

I parked on the end of the roof, peeking out over the lip of the concrete- catching a glimpse of the west campus skyline in the distance and the blinking red lights of the power plant flashing slowly and the rain making patterns on my windshield and rivulets on my side windows. The sky would flash white on occasion- or I'd see a spear of lightning flash and curl in the distance, followed by a distant rumble of thunder. I turned the car off and put my phone down to listen for a moment and remembered a half forgotten line from a movie that I wanted to say was V For Vendetta. You know the one- toward the end, where Natalie Portman has her head shaved and finds her courage?

"God is in the rain." There's something to that, if you think about it. The scientific explanation for rain might make perfect, logical sense: droplets of moisture falling from the clouds in the sky, but being in the rain, listening to the rain. How can you not believe in something?

Belief. It's a strange thing, considering what beliefs have done throughout the course of world history. I believe in God- a higher power, whatever you want to call it, but I don't like to shout about it. Maybe it's the Catholic in me, but I find my faith to be an intensely personal thing that I don't talk about all that much. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because I don't believe in words. I believe in deeds. You can say everything everything you want, but people don't have to believe you. They believe in what people do.

I've decided that my memory is refractory in many ways. I'm not one of those people that remembers every moment of every friendship dating back to elementary school. I'll remember specific moments instead. I'll remember those snows- the big, fluffy flakes falling down through the Jock Lot, lit up by the brilliant white lights of the parking lot. The air so, perfectly still. I'll remember watching a thunderstorm roll through on night shift from the top floor of one of the dorms. (If you haven't seen a thunderstorm from twelve floors up, you're missing out.)  Smiles, moments, nights, the kaleidoscope of colors on a wet street at around 3-4 in the morning.

Yeah. I keep moments. I treasure those tiny moments- some are longer than others, some are fleeting indeed. But sometimes- if you take a few minutes to listen to the rain, you can capture another moment and keep it for yourself.

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