Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I love to hear it rain

The weather is changing now. I prefer the bay area in this state. The clouds and fog are so thick that the sky is a slate of flat white behind the trees, which shake and drip away the day. Everything is saturated, a little darker, and the faces of those I pass appear more thoughtful, more delicate. The change in weather is bringing about a change in mood. Some of my friends have been depressed. I’ve been doing a lot of listening. The contrast between inside and outside is growing. The coffee shops are getting cozier and the first chill when you step out the door cools you down to the blood.

I’ve been back in Oakland, though I drove across the bridge yesterday to get a few things done. I love the composure of our infrastructure beneath stormy weather. The rain and wind and trees and cars are moving wildly, struggling to keep control, while the tires are gripping down on calm asphalt. I lean in and turn a quiet song up loud, peer out the window between streaming beads of rain at the cars I pass, sheltered in the sound of the song from the sound of the storm outside.

Oakland is a steady flow of past cutting through the present. I recognize faces everywhere. I’ve been to a few parties where its flooded over until I’m up to my chest in murky past. The other night it was all folks that had meant a lot to me when I quit school, had taken care of me, and they still mean a lot, but I hadn’t seen many of them in a year. They all asked where’d I’d been. I was a little surprised that I had been gone so long too. I found myself at another party a couple weekends ago with familiar faces from high school, middle school, elementary school and college. All people I had lost touch with, really had made no effort. People grow and get skinny, or put on a few pounds, cut their hair, get pretty or lose their looks, but their eyes don’t change. I could recognize eyes that I had known when I was four or five or six. That shit from the earlier chapters, it never leaves you. I blacked out. I couldn’t take it. There are a few clips of whiskey bottles and conversation, of James and I struggling back to his house through the early morning drunken haze, like we were fighting wind and sleet and rain.

The rain is actually coming up right now. I can hear it on the roof and see it falling like static between the windows and the trees. I’m going to go open the door right now and listen, get close enough that the tip of my socks get wet.

I love to hear it rain.