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Iridescent Rain

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The rain poured down in sheets, like curtains all in a diagonal line. I watched a car pass outside, the windshield wipers going as fast as they could. They didn’t manage to get that one triangle.

I, safe inside, looked down at my hand, smarting from the new ink. It extended all around my wrist, down the top of my hand, and up my forearm some ways. It was a steady stream of Celtic knotwork that highlighted every angle of my hand.

The new tattoo stung, and every time I looked outside at the then-raging storm, my hand hurt as if it felt every raindrop to be a knife blade. My skin was red, though it had been hours since I had gotten home. They said I should wait 24 hours until getting my hand wet and risking messing up the scabbing ink.

I turned away from the rain outside, sick of hurting my hand, and I went to get something to drink. A minute later, with a glass of red wine in hand, I eased into my chair. The rain pounded harder and harder and my hand hurt more the more I thought about getting it wet.

It was my first tattoo, and I was anxious to take good care of it. That night when I got ready for bed, I slipped a plastic glove over my hand and my ink, because I wanted this one to be perfect, unblemished. I laid in bed with my hand on its own separate pillow, felt the sting of ink and skin, and listened to the rain pour incessantly from the heavens.

The next morning when I woke from heavy slumber, my tattooed hand laid still on its own pillow. The rain still dripped from the eaves; it was close to 20 hours of constant rain. I was sick of it.

I went downstairs and found one of my windows opened slightly, rain pouring in. I was horrified, so I closed it quickly. I hadn’t left it open, had I? When I closed it, my hand smarted in the water it had contact with. I drew back my hand and cradled it with my other hand. The tattoo was fine, but I was concerned. Water shouldn’t really hurt the tattoo, the artist had said, but be careful anyways.

I looked outside and it was still raining, a never ending curtain that was supposed to let up hours before, according to the news. The instant I thought this, the sun broke the clouds and threw splintered rays over the still-dripping world. Everything glittered and shone like the iridescent ink all over my wrist.
***


I think of that memory now, staring outside at the rain that hasn’t let up for days, it’s been flash-flood warnings and mudslide warnings on the news for nearly a week. I think of that memory, so many years ago, because I see the sun behind the clouds, ready to break them, and the iridescent ink on my wrist has yet to stop shining.





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