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It's Always Rainy in London

I quite enjoy my morning bike rides across the cobblestone of London’s side streets. Of course, holding a bell-shaped umbrella over my head. It has pink polka dots on it, my way of paying homage to my preppy upbringing in a polka dot plastered room. Charming corner room in an even more charming flat, on the left side of things.

I usually peddle and maneuver carefully around pedestrians and lamp posts. Sometimes I let them do the maneuvering, except for the lamp posts of course, what a silly thought, correct?

My bicycle was my first grownup purchase, so naturally it is the most juvenile shade of blue the bike shop could offer, with a bell, a woven basket, and my name piped on the tail of it in a fancy print with exaggerated swirls at the end of each letter.

I assume with a fair amount of certainty that your mental picture would have me in a dream of a dress whilst I ride fancifully, balancing an umbrella. Your assumption would be correct. I believe wholeheartedly that when a lady is traveling down a London street, she should be two things. 1) In a dress that compliments her, swaying with each movement, and 2) wearing some shade of yellow, no matter how pitiful the brightness of it, yellow makes people smile, even in the rain.

I made my rounds, up and down the streets, passing bakeries, flowers shops, kids playing hopscotch, and young people in love. Some of them where covered, others where not. The lovers never were, they didn’t even feel the rain, they never felt much of anything that they didn’t want to feel.

I waved to the people I knew, which was most everyone I passed. Tipping hats and presenting offerings, I left 23rd street with a basket full of peony petals and a pink sprinkled donut, Mr. Solvang knew they were my favorite. I quite enjoyed pink, though I’m not usually an aesthetic-based decision maker, when it came to the choice between anything and pink, I always chose pink.

The wishing well at the end of a side street, in front of a bank and a library, was my landmark that let me know I needed to stop and turn around. But before I turned around, I leapt from my bike, still grasping my umbrella, and tossed a penny into the well. It amused, even though I never heard it clink.

I fancied the way the sky was still pretty, even when it was leaking all over the streets, painting them a shade darker than normal. And the widow in the flat above the well always looked down and smiled at me, at my naivety I’m sure.

The rain filled the well, and the well filled my childlike hopes. So I didn’t mind the rain and I never underestimated it. Rain makes me happy, more than it makes me sad. I don’t consider myself a fair-weather friend, but a friend of all seasons.

And even when I saw no more rain, standing in front of the well, I kept my umbrella over my head anyway. Because sometimes it seems like it’ll be different, but it’s always the same. And even when you think it won’t, keep your umbrella around, because it’s always rainy in London. And always is a sure fire thing, even when maybe seems like it is too.



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