Monday, July 7, 2014

What the rain brings

When it rains in summer, it is beautiful. That moment, right before the bottom falls out, when the wind whips round the trees and the thunder rumbles through the mid-afternoon air, that is the magic. In summer, when the water falls from the sky, there is no harm in it. The plants are alive and the air is charged with fresh scents of disturbance. That rainfall is good and that rainfall is welcome. But in the winter, the rain turns into something cruel. I guess it was always like this because I was always cold. In the winter, I see clearly and in the winter, I am alone.

It was coming again, that nasty wet season right before the end of fall. There was just enough chill in the air to disgust me. I walked from one window to the next, clad in my converse sneakers, jeans and oversized knit sweater. I was biting my nails again because I knew, that tonight, I would sit by the fireplace in my blanket again. There would be no toasty warmth flowing throughout the house. There would only be an aura of warmth radiating closely around the hearth, and there I would sit, huddled and with some random book in my hand. There was no need for electricity, but there was a need for warmth. Too bad the both of them intersected quite uncomfortably.

It was coming closer, I could hear the winter thunder rumble quietly in the distance. Even the winter thunder was different, more subdued. It wasn’t filled with raging freedome like during the summer. I hated its small voice and I hated its electrical sister that provided nothing for me anymore. I lit a candle quietly, as the sun faded beyond the edge of the dark cloud. The smell of cucumber rose up into my nostrils and reminded me, painfully, of the long gone warm days before. I pushed the candle away so that I didn’t have to smell that lovely smell I hated so much. My fingers grazed the edge of the melting wax and I pulled my hand back to my face. I moved the drying buds of wax around in circles with my finger and thumb. I watched it crumble and fall to the floor. My eyes rested on the crumbs. It was lonely here, but no one could hurt me.

“I am stronger than I think” I whispered to myself.

A long moment of silence passed after those words and I could have sworn I heard an echo. I remembered then that it was coming from outside. A long mournful wail in the distance brought me out of my daze and back to reality. The thunderhead grew larger, I watched the clouds bubble upward and push closer to my home. I stared across the yard, watching the old lady grasp at the air. Her pale flesh had grown darker today, much darker than yesterday. It was safe to say she wasn’t pale anymore, I guess. Her friend bumped into her and turned to see what was making contact with him. He pushed at her and then started to grasp at the air himself. His brown uniform was almost gone now, spotted and torn in various places, shredded in others. He was such a contrast to her prim and proper attire, stained, mottled with something gruesome all her own.

I jumped suddenly as a face appeared glued to the window. He turned to look at the freaks in the yard and then he looked through the window again. His face was familiar. It seemed as though he was with me in another life, maybe a story where he was normal and I was the undead freak.

 He started pounding on the window, floundering at first and then more meaningful. Pieces of his skin flaked away as he hit the reverberating plexi-glass. I watched him shudder each time he pounded the glass, each time he leaned back intentionally and gave surface a good dead walloping.

“That will not last long. Why are you so morbid? Why do you want to watch this?”

I heard my voice and he did too. He stopped pounding the shuddering plexi-glass and tilted his head.

“Oh my god, can you hear me?”

The dead that was relentlessly battling my window moaned and shook his head. Did he think his ears were filled with worms? Did he think the worms were wiggling and buzzing inside his rotten ear canal?

“You used to be important.” I spoke and pushed down on the floor to rise.

My hands wanted to do something, and so I pulled at my gloves. I looked at the fire and then back to him. My favorite zombie was shuffling about on the porch, looking for something. I imagined he was looking for something, but he was probably only trying to figure out how to get the worms out of his ears.

Then again, he looked at me. There was something more than dead in those eyes, there was irritation. There was planning and motivation, there was hunger and courage. He bent over and lifted a brick from the edge of the porch. As he studied the brick, turning it over and passing it from one hand to the other, he smiled. I swear he smiled, there was a crackled grin upon his molded face. I was astonished by the fact that this fucker was about to throw a brick at my window. In a moment, that is just what he did. He drew back and released the brick in my direction, only barely knicking the window sill. So much for that plan. And he knew he had failed too. He grimaced and let out a loud gurgling screech, then rammed his body into the window.

“Apparently, he will never give you any more than you can handle, huh..”

And then the rain fell hard. I heard the dead screaming and the thunder crackling. A moment later, I could smell the wet charred flesh of the dead. No, the rain in winter was never quite as beautiful and the rain in summer. The rain didn't bring life, it brought death, cold, charred, wet and stinking death.

And I was cold, hungry and without one shred of hope left, but the hope that I would die soon as well. And then I found a memory, half-buried and waiting oblivion. I caught the image of the summer rain and I smiled.

The rain in summer is magnetic, astonishing, bringing relief to the dry cracked earth. The summer rain can be amazing, just before the earth cracks open and gives birth to new life, and the coffin takes another breath releasing its putrid babies of renewal. The hand reaching for heaven and the screaming of the reborn as it opens its eyes to a whole new world. 

“Okay, I guess I have had enough.”

I walked into bedroom and slammed the door. Crawling into bed, I pulled the covers over my head. IT seemed, that no matter how hard I tried, they just wouldn’t leave me alone. The only place safe from those undead jerks was deep within the boundaries of sleep. There, I could pretend that it was summer again…and he was still just like me.

.. and he was just like the summer rain, the only thing I ever needed.