First, I’m absolutely lashing with apologies. Each time my iPhone dings, I see WordPress notices from friends who have written something new. Bloggers, I’m clamoring to read your posts and shower your words with comments.
But the truth is, someone resigned on me at the office this week, so I’m spending my free time redistributing work to the rest of my team. Once that’s finished, I can sit back and wait for someone to retaliate by: 1) egging my windows, 2) laying a flaming bag of poo on my doorstep, or 3) keying automotive-love-of-my-life, Jones. With a vengeance. And then I shall cry.
So: Here’s a post I wrote in July about rain, a stolen hour and music. Bloggers, my fingers are crossed that I’ll catch up with you on Friday to see what sort of trouble you’ve been getting yourselves into.
Caught in a Downpour – July 26, 2010
My original plan was to wake early and run before anyone missed me. When the alarm sounded at 6:30 AM, my groggy mind and sinus headache regarded each other, shook hands, and agreed to go back to sleep.
Now it’s 7:30 AM. The morning is dry and cool—perfect for running—but a pocket of grim and gathering clouds lines the northwest sky. So what then? Run in the rain? I’d kind of love that. The problem is, I don’t like to run without music. And since I’ve stored my favorite mp3s on my water-averse iPhone, I need to make a decision. The sky above me is eerie and yellow, but the storm is miles away. The rain could hold for 40 minutes or so—just long enough for a 5 mile workout.
I decide to test fate, and the first two miles are easy. The air is crisp and still. Then, half-way through mile 3, the trees begin to blow sideways. I hear the rain before I feel those first heavy drops land squarely on my forehead.
Oh, my sweet baby iTunes, I think. Things are about to take a nasty turn.
To date, I have exactly 424 mp3s and 540 photos locked in the sacred memory of my mobile device. I’ve never backed up those files because my company’s code of conduct says I can’t sync my phone on my laptop. If my iPhone gets wet, all those files will disappear. Hundreds of dollars plus hours of my listening enjoyment would be washed away with just a few well-placed raindrops.
I’m two blocks from my neighborhood Starbucks. If I sprint, maybe I can make it there before the sky drains all over this sidewalk.
So I run full tilt. I take a sharp left into a condo complex that juts up against my favorite hard-core caffeine supplier. What I’ve never realized until today—what I never had a reason to notice—is that a 5-feet tall chain link fence separates the two structures. I’m sure I can scale the fence, that’s not the problem. But by now, the storm has unleashed itself. I look around and see a long garage with a 2 ½ foot overhang. I’ll be fine out here under the gutters, I think. This kind of downpour can’t last long.
In movies, you can tell when the “rain” is really just the studio’s sprinkler system. The water pours down in visible streams and splashes all over the set. That’s exactly how this thunderstorm is. The drops fuse together into furious lines that strike loudly against the pavement; they don’t change direction. It’s just a straight shot from sky to ground.
I watch those drops fall, listening to the slush of cars edging wetly through the neighborhood. My shoes are damp from the dripping overhang, but my iTunes are bone dry. I call GB to tell him I’m fine, then spend the next half-hour shuffling through my favorite songs. I feel sleepy and relaxed, and I’m all settled in when GB calls to say he’ll come find me.
Pantha du Prince – Welt Am Draht (Animal Collective Remix)
In a way, I wish I could stay longer. It’s just a half hour I’m glad I’ve had. In this time, I’ve thought of next to nothing—just rain and music and rain again. I’ve been forced to be still and quiet—a bit like sleeping, I guess. For a chronic multitasker like me, that’s really kind of a gift.
When GB pulls up, I’m glad to see him. The boys are smiling through their red hooded rain jackets. They spend the ride home recounting the morning’s cartoons. I tell them I missed them and they kick their feet happily. The rain falls loudly for hours, and my house is noisy with play.
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