Saturday, August 22, 2015

Daily Sketches. #22 Rain (Excerpt)

Write about rain. Is it a warm summer shower or a heavy stormy downpour? Are you indoors or outside, all soaked through? Write about a character if you’d like.

She always loved rain. Her girlfriends would complain about it – can’t go out under this downpour, puddles outside leaving unattractive splashes on freshly cleaned tights or fashionable trousers, the gray sky making them depressed. She’d stay by her window and watch the silver droplets making their way down. The courtyard would rapidly empty out, only a rare babushka hurrying home, with avoska (*) filled with groceries under a rugged umbrella, which no doubt served her for the better half of her long life. Or a couple of young guys jumping over the puddles, rushing towards the closest roof. The children’s playground, abandoned only in extreme cold days of Siberian winters, otherwise always bursting with children’s voices, now becoming deserted. Pigeons and a few pretty doves curling under the roof of the green pigeon-loft built by her neighbor, ever cheerful uncle Vanya who moved out years ago, as he started a new family, but his birds were still here, and he’d come to visit them daily. Watching the rain was one of her favorite things on earth to do. She couldn’t help but smile, feeling the warmth spreading in the chest area where she thought her soul lived, reaching everything around it with its sunny rays. Rain was the secret language that she understood and spoke. Rain was the universe’s way of saying that everything was well.

He always loved rain. If it caught him on the road which happened a lot in stormy Midwest springs in his many years working in factories, he’d stop his car on the shoulder of a narrow country road just to watch the rain. If he was driving in the city, he’d park in the parking lot of the nearest mall near Barnes and Nobles where he loved spending evenings reading or writing, and watch how the droplets were making their way down the car window. The streets were rapidly becoming deserted. Rare shoppers were rushing to their cars, and soon he’d hear the splashing sound from under the rolling tires. He’d stay in his car in silence, with the engine turned off, and listen for the last few drops, as if the rain was telling him a story. There were always ellipses at the end of rain stories, which left him feeling refreshed and hopeful. It was the rain that suggested to him to use ellipses abundantly in his prose. He felt all-embracing peace watching the world getting a shower, making a pause in the busy life, postponing all the chores which seemed unnecessary, or at least not as necessary as being quiet. Rain had the ability to make him feel rested and content, as if the garden inside of his being was receiving a long needed watering. The quiet world, sparkling with raindrops, was telling him that everything was well.

(*) avoska – net shopping bag or string bag, popular in Soviet times, especially with the elders

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  1. Biographical, perhaps? Interesting way to tie two seemingly distant characters together.

  2. I love this piece ... incredibly touching and magical.