Sunday, January 14, 2007


The sky is dark for five o’clock. Heavy. We walk slowly, deliberately, savoring each step in each other’s company. On one flank little city lights peep out from behind thick clouds holding what will be what holds us back and what will keep us there. Our other flank is endless with sky, water, and a healthy greenness. We are walking towards the water.

The coolness pricks our skin and the breeze forecasts the wetness that is to come. It is just beyond comfortable but we ignore any sense we have: to turn back. We move forward.

We arrive and sit, our backs against the concrete wall that shields us from the stares of the city lights. We look forward into the water and wordlessly our gazes fade into the distant water-sky.

A drop falls. A second. The clouds relieve themselves. The wetness is cooler than the air and the hairs on our forearms and shoulders start to raise, the backs of our necks alert to the imposing weather. Now that we are there, that we’ve arrived, we can’t turn back. We’ve waited for this for too long. Wordlessly we endure the increased stress on our bodies to stay warm, we shiver and wrap our arms around ourselves, hugging our knees and struggling to keep our bodies from shaking. I look at you and see the rain running in-between your eyelashes, around your eyes and down the crease of your nose onto your lips. Suddenly we are completely waterlogged. Your face has now turned into a landscape of water currents, your hair matted snuggly to your head.

We get up and slosh away. I’m following you, you choose a railing up along the concrete armature of a building. You navigate to a sheltered cavity beneath the windows. We sit upon the rocks/ drainage system. Centipedes slither in and out of our refuge among us. We lean back against the concrete wall. We stare out into the downpour. It is arresting. You look at me squarely and say with weighty eyes, “I have to go,” but neither of us can move. You turn your back to me and slide your wet shirt off to put on a dry sweatshirt from your pack. I see your back muscles and look away, into the distance.

We try to wait it out but it just keeps coming. Drop upon drop, thick as static on the TV. We sit and stare out of our newly nested burrow, family of bugs and rocks and chill, and stare through the downpour to the water-sky. Above us the rain pellets drum off the glass, then glide down the panes in long sweeping channels. Water likes to stick together.

You say you have to go again and although I don’t believe you, you pull yourself up and grab your things. I follow you out from our shelter, unready for the next shockwaves of shivers and chattering.
We slosh back, picking up our heavy legs with our heavy pants, and this time our silence is also much heavier. Cold and wet, neither of want to leave, but you feel you must. The irresolution remains unspoken.