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In the Midst of a Storm

I’m not sure how I feel about the rain. I think it is the things my blurry mind constantly link them to represent, some extended metaphor swirling lines in my brain until I’m simply wet and squinting through the empty holes in between the black scribbles now in my head.

At first, the sky is blue and the clouds float lazily in the sky like the sugary animal crackers they used to force feed my preschool class oh so long ago. Then, slowly, so gradual that you don’t even notice it until it’s upon you; the skies take on the chalky grey of an itchy turtleneck your grandma made you for Christmas you had to pretend to appreciate, and grates the same way against your nerves that the fabric does upon your skin until you can rip them off for your familiar T-shirt.

The first sprinkles of rain drop on your skin, and you simply swipe them off and continue on your way, perhaps idly looking about for a possible shelter on the unlikely chance this will end up affecting you.
But the rain only persists and continues, until it suddenly becomes commonplace, this unfamiliar cold, wet and heavy coat, like the kind your mother made you wear on freezing winter days before sending you off to shiver at the bus stop, waiting for the warm sanctuary of the lumbering yellow school bus to come lumbering down your street. Except… where’s your bus?

That’s the other thing about rain. It creates an awful feeling in your heart like you’ve always been wearing that itchy turtleneck, and waiting for your bus to come. It makes you believe you’ve never seen a normal T-shirt or a gargantuan school bus.


So you sit there, in a whirlwind of thunder crashing in your head like the pressure to be better, lightening in the distance like the threat of a worse tomorrow, wet belts cinching into your skin like the one you wore around your waist to appear thinner, and the landscape crashing and burning and falling to the ground in defeat. What once was green and lush is now invisible through the sea of wet walls that surround you now, and you scream but can’t hear a thing over the crashing of the thunder and whirling of your feelings in your chest.

You stare into the abyss, wondering why you didn’t just go inside when you could, and insisted on putting yourself through this when- there. Do you see that? The wind has been howling in your ears like girls screaming obscenities in your ear, and the wetness has formed a shield on your skin out of vulnerable drops of water… but you see it now. That crack in the sky, where the smallest peek of sunlight dapples on your cheeks like your mother kissing your cheek before tucking you into bed, or milk sliding down your throat after a bite of the best chocolate chip cookie you’ve ever tasted.

That ray of sunlight is like a wake-up call to the earth to get over itself, crawl out of bed and chase the stupid rain in its head away. The world seems to turn to slow-motion when this is happening. True by Spandau Ballet comes on as, right before your eyes, a visible change befalls the scene. The birds’ chirps spatter around you and slowly morph together to form one beautiful, swelling cacophony of notes again that sound like the voice of an old friend after not seeing them for years. The melancholy clouds stick around for awhile, but the boxed-in feeling you once had is slowly beginning to dissipate, like weeds being pulled from a garden until it once again can flourish and be looked upon as beautiful. Once they realize this, the clouds float away disappointedly, and you can almost pretend to see their shoulders droop as they storm from the newly-glowing land.

It’s then that you remember: T-shirts , warm yellow school buses, chocolate chip cookies with milk and your mother’s kisses do exist. It’s simply hard to recall the relief in the midst of the seemingly eternal storm.
For every turtleneck, there is a T-shirt, and for every cold winter’s bus stop, there is a yellow school bus.
I hate how the rain makes me forget, but I can appreciate the relief it brings me I find after it is gone.

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