August 8th, 2010

cocked and loaded


It's been raining most of the day. On and off, harder and softer as if it can't make up its mind or its intensity, but it doesn't stop for long. In the street the raindrops make small white circles for a split second as they smack into the asphalt. It's like watching an animation: vertical white streaks, then small sudden circles. The street is shiny and black except where the rain lands.

Sometimes it rains so hard it bounces, even off the grass—the impact makes a mist rise and hover off the ground. On the back deck, which is slick in spots with standing water, the raindrops make white rings instead of small white circles.

The neighbor across the street is outside in the rain. He's wearing big army-green rubber boots and he's walking back and forth, spreading something into his lawn: grass seed perhaps, or fertilizer.

I stand by the window in the kitchen, eating three frozen Thin Mint cookies, their edges frozen white like shiny rain circles on black pavement, and watch the rain and the circles. I am narrating this in my head as I watch.

Later I write it all down, a looping circular scrawl, the act of having written the sentences out in my head creating a seamless transition to a lined piece of paper in a shiny new notebook.

It's not actually new: it's only unused. I bought it when we were at the wallpaper store during my daughter's room renovation, but today I unwrapped the plastic pocket and slid it out and opened it for the first time and wrote in it.

I confess it's not often I actually write things down with a pen on paper these days. I'm out of practice with that part of writing.

I bought the notebook because of the pattern on the cover. It's a vintage wallpaper pattern, and while I can't imagine having it covering an actual wall, as a notebook cover it's quite elegant.

The clouds are a uniform cover of gray only, like in a watercolor painting, the sky is darker gray in some spots and lighter in others. For a moment, there's a break and part of the sky goes white and everything lights up, though it goes on raining and the white circles and spots never stop forming and disappearing, materializing and vanishing, quick as thought.

*Title from a quote by Thomas D'Evelyn

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