emma b. says

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The first rain has come.
The clouds have been hanging around the hilltops for a couple of days, the pregnant kind, the old crones conjuring the wet season.

I left P's house tonight and went into the rain, in a fleece and without an umbrella. I realize I don't even have an umbrella, and didn't think to ask to borrow one. I thought I'd dash to the corner and hail a cab, but I had four dollars in my wallet, and then I thought I would take the bus, then it passed me. Right. Wait an eternity at the bus stop or hoof it.

Up and up and up Haight in the rain, and it was beautiful. Temperate and gleaming. All the good, green pungeance seeps out of the leaves and sturdy flowers. Perfumes that I can't identify, and the ghostly scent of plane trees which I don't think are even near. The man under the eaves smoking a joint. The near perfect music of water on tires, and falling, the falling of this first rain, as casual and easy as california.

I thought I might brood, trudge up the hill swathed in wet melancholy, disconsolate rain, disconsolate tears. Balk at my sodden pants legs, fret over my hair, scowl when I wasn't huffing. Instead I found myself admiring beauty and my mind strayed back to that terrible Anthony Hopkins movie where he went all feral ape or something, but there was a scene that resonated with me... He's sitting with the apes and it is raining, he's got a leaf on his head in a bid for a bit of shelter, and the apes are sitting placidly under the rain without shelter. He bares his head and the rain streams into his eyes, he lets go of shelter and so becomes feral.

I felt a little feral and a lot free with the rain soaking through my jacket and the rain trickling down my neck, I was unexpectedly delighted. We are hard wired to seek shelter, we revere it in song and in religion and political affiliation. We seek shelter in the arms of engineers and thread counts and red wine, at the hair dresser and at the cash register, in conformity and in rebellion.

I will soon seek shelter beneath the duvet, but for twenty or so minutes as I was walking home tonight I was free and feral, completely sensual, in that I was eyes and ears and mouth and nose moving forward without thought, drenched to the bone, content, defensive, hungry, watchful for prey.


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