Friday, June 6, 2008

Spare Change #6

I hate the rain. A lot of people say that but they don’t mean it like I do. I mean that if rain was a man I’d do such unspeakable things to him that they wouldn’t bother throwing me in jail, they’d just execute me on the spot.

When it rains in the morning I just want to curl into a ball and stay on the couch until the sun comes out again, whether that be in two hours or two weeks. I only tried getting back on the couch once – Phakov nearly clawed my eyes out.

On days when the morning is warm and clear and the rain comes in the afternoon it feels like God is playing a big practical joke on us. The morning sun is full of the hopes and dreams of a fresh start; the lunch time clouds smear them all away with their cruel, cold fingers. That’s when I think the thunder is really God saying “ha ha, got you!”

This hatred isn’t a recent development either. I can remember when Brad and Julie, my foster “parents”, promised to take me to an amusement park on a Saturday and when the big day came the outing was canceled by rain. I got so angry that before they managed to lock me up in my room I’d broken three dinner plates. I think that was about a month before they finally gave up and took me back to the orphanage. I didn’t blame them then and I don’t now.

I watch people rushing by, too intent on getting out of the rain to put a dime in my hat. I think this is the least amount of cash I’ve ever brought in before noon. Oh how I hate, I hate, I hate hate hate the rain.

This awning is keeping me mostly dry but the odd gust of wind makes sure that I still achieve the drowned rat look. I should probably get inside, if only for the sake of my health.

“Wet enough for ya?” a man asks with a laugh as he runs by. He disappears around a corner before I can untangle my arm from my blanket to flip him off. Useless bastard. He’s probably one of those twits that love asking everyone “hot enough for ya?” at the peak of summer. Probably looks forward to it all year.

It’s raining harder, really pouring, and the streets are only getting emptier. I guess I should call it a day, get home and try to dry off.

Getting up is slow, painful work. It’s like I got watered enough to put down roots, muscling their way through the cracks in the sidewalk to grasp the real earth below. If I had stayed much longer I might’ve blossomed.

I head for the bus stop as I add up the change in my pockets. I’ve got enough for the fare with a whole twenty-five cents left over. I should’ve stayed on the couch.

I stick close to the buildings to make use of whatever protection their awnings will give me. Unfortunately everyone else has the same idea, including the umbrella wielders. I pull my hat down low to avoid losing an eye and try to think of all the ways to kill a man using only an umbrella.

I’m only up to number eight when I’m slammed into the brick wall to my left.

“Watch where you’re going little begga’ man!”

I look up to see a fierce, terrifyingly large black man staring me down. Now let me be clear for a moment: I’m no racist. I find any man that could eat me for a snack before dinner terrifying.

I make a few awkward apologetic, placating motions with my head and hands and turn to walk away. Thankfully he lets me go. I guess that’s one benefit of looking like something the cat dragged in: being unappetizing.

By the time I get to the bus stop there’s no room in the shelter, women and children are packed in there like soggy cigarettes. Surprisingly I don’t spot an open umbrella amongst them.

I stand to the side and pretend that I have no interest in getting out of the rain. Several guys (and a couple women) I know would just charge in there and make room for themselves but my disdain for the normals hasn’t peaked quite yet. Maybe next year.

Several minutes pass before a bus comes along but it’s so full that only a few mother/child combos can get on. As the bus pulls away I notice that somehow there’s still no room in the shelter.

Ten minutes later no more buses have appeared. I move to the curb to look down the street to see what I can see. Too late, I notice the sports car racing along the curb lane. I step back but not quickly enough to get away from the spray from a disturbed pothole and I get a face full of mud and rainwater.

As I try to get the worst of it out of my eyes and nose and mouth a particularly loud crack of thunder echoes off the office buildings and rattles my bones.

I hate the rain.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very well written,
excellent reading, draws you along with the