February 3rd, 2004

caillebotte_man at his window

More Rain

Night failed to fetch the moon after all. Instead, the rain resumed, and soft pattering and trickling has continued to animate the darkness. The cats have grown impatient, wishing to venture out, yet unwilling to get wet. Let outside, they remain on the porch, then complain loudly of the unfairness of it all when invited back in. Though I am not yet weary of this year's rain, I can sympathize with their dissatisfaction. I recall a winter when I was eleven or twelve when there was rain day after day for weeks on end. At school, we were forced to eat our lunches in the classroom, which then reeked of apple and overripe banana and peanut butter and milk for the remainder of the day.

Between classes, if we had to move from one building to another, we crowded the narrow covered walkways or dashed quickly across the open spaces, then entered another steamy classroom where coats dried on chair backs, emitting yet another odor into the close air. At the end of the day, we would dash to the waiting buses, ride behind fogged windows, then rush home from the bus stop, usually ending up soaked through. I grew so tired of being soggy that I thought I'd never want to see rain again.

Then I suddenly became accustomed to it. I even "missed" the bus a few times, just so I could walk home in the rain. Walking along the deserted sidewalks, I watched the spray fly from the tires of passing cars, the rivulets running in the gutters, the cascades falling from eaves, and found it all enjoyable. Though scolded for ruining my shoes and warned that I would inevitably catch pneumonia and die, I had been seduced by the rain and would indulge my newfound passion at every opportunity. It was as though I had undergone a pagan baptismal rite, and was lost to the prim world of dryness, another convert to the worship of saturated sensuality. I even felt disappointment when that gray winter drew to a close and the warmer days of a dry spring arrived.

Though I no longer have so intense a love of rain as I experienced in that first flush of devotion, and on most days would rather remain dry and enjoy the sights and sounds and smells of a rainy day from the comfort of cover, I have never lost my capacity to find pleasure in liquid precipitation. Yet I do remember the early days of that wet year, when I found the relentless rain oppressive, before I became less like a cat and more like Gene Kelly splashing in those irresistible puddles.
caillebotte_man at his window

Still More Nice Duck Weather

I see that the XColibur style is still broken in my browser. I'd expected it to be fixed by now. Apparently, it has something to do with a new feature which was added but which I can't see because it is buried in all the stuff that piles up at the tops of the BML pages. Someday I'll find out what it is, once Brad figures out how computers work. (Heh.)

The cats are complaining loudly and with increasing frequency, due to the continued meteorological inclemency. I'm sure they are quoting Mark Twain: "Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it."</i> Their feline displeasure, lacking the outlet of bemused prose, issues forth as restlessness, demands for attention, the batting about of objects not intended for that purpose, and the occasional outburst of mutual hissing and snarling, their dislike of one another greatly aggravated by the enforced confinement. They also console themselves by periodically giving me one of those looks -- the ones that say "This is all your fault! If you really loved me, you'd fix it!" Sorry, kitties. The sky will clear eventually. In the meantime, you'll just have to take naps and dream of chasing birds in the sunshine.

I, of course, having no urgent errands abroad in the town, don't mind watching through the windows as rain falls from the gray sky and drips bright beads from the bare twigs. I indulge my taste for melancholy romanticism with the merest tinge of self-aware irony, recalling how much pleasure I have taken over the years from brooding along with the sky. How could I not be happy on so delightfully dismal a day?

I'm making spaghetti for dinner tonight, with garlic toast. Oum, oum. (Kudos to whoever catches the obscure reference.)