Parade Raining

Do you ever come across a piece that you wrote a long time ago which you immediately fall back in love with?
I happened upon the following piece (written in 2008) buried in the deep, dark recesses of an old writing folder along with 5 accompanying sketches and I felt like sharing, because I really like it/ them.
Without further introduction… enjoy a previously unposted snapshot of my literary past.

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Parade Raining

01The rain came down. Dancing in the pale, yellow sodium street light, the distinct drops painted streaks of refraction on the patchy black backdrop of an overcast night sky. Every drop of refreshing precipitate that gently struck my upturned face exploded in a tiny blossom of chilled peacefulness. Each collision a distinct, blissful experience.

Alone they landed, but together, they melded into a flowing body, caressing my cheeks and brow, cascading through my hair and over my chin, down my neck and over my pale, bare chest. The flow would then either drip off my finger tips, each drop leaving a gentle kiss as it let go, or it would soak into the waist of my jeans, for a longer, yet still inevitable, trip to join the puddle around my naked feet.

I curled my toes. The mud that squished between them sent a sensual, relaxing wave up my body.02

The mortgage fell away.

I took a deep breath of the cool, saturated air. The tangy smell of sopping autumn helped drop my shoulders back.

The fact that I needed to dump another unbelievably large sum of cash into that over-regulated hunk of steel and pistons faded into a position in which it no longer mattered.

A smile curled over my lips as the tranquil roar of the falling drops filled my head. I turned my sensitive palms outward and raised my arms from my sides. As I did so, the tie that had been loosely held in my left hand slipped through my fingers to rest on top of the discarded shirt that soaked up mud.

My fear about the wife I may or may not still love leaving me and taking the dog I still haven’t trained not to crap on the floor, paled until not even a hint of the anger, the fear, or the question lurked in my mind.

As my hands reach03ed a forty five degree angle, the fragrant, chill breeze nuzzled its way up and enveloped my body and outstretched limbs.

It failed to matter that I had just stormed out of a meeting with the board that now viewed me as a joker and a clown. Like a sand castle melting into the ocean, the seeming importance of their comments disappeared.

Total bliss and happiness set in.

I closed my eyes, and smiled into the rain.

The rain.
The ecstasy.
Bathing in the rain and the street light.
Not only was everything going to be okay, everything was okay. No, not okay; everything was perfect…

Happiness.04

I was jarred into a state of confusion as the rain suddenly stopped. No, not stopped; I could still hear it but couldn’t feel it. I opened my eyes to see an umbrella held over me by a tall dark figure. The ambient light reflected from the shiny ground illuminated a bone pale face looking down at me, dark eyes remaining in shadow. The white face seemed to glow faintly in the black surroundings of a hood.

Still staring into the seemingly missing eyes, I opened my mouth to speak in protest, but my throat was suddenly dry and refused to utter a sound.

He spoke in a deep rumble, “Come. You’ll catch your death playing in the rain like this.”

05

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Prelude in D Sharp Major

PreludeThe most important moment to every thing’s existence is, one can argue, the moment that it came to be, yet it seems to be some sort of rule that one cannot remember it. The air gave me form. I was born through the coming together of many separate particles in the haze, condensing into a single body, or so I have been told. I don’t remember the event, of course.

It’s like there is no exact moment that I became conscious, either. I can remember, I presume, almost to the beginning, to what I am forced to assume is the beginning, because things moved less quickly then, and I looked different. I have gotten bigger, and I can remember with gray, fuzzy clarity that, once, I was much smaller, so that must have been near the beginning, but there is no definite edge to my memory, only a fading into obscurity.

As time marches forward, so do I. In every single memory that I have, I was propelled forward out of it by something: fate? time? destiny? I don’t know what it is, but I can’t go back. I left the wispy gray of my past and it was gone. As I was pushed faster and faster my shape changed, I became longer, and lost some of my roundness, but I gained other strange bulges. More important, I think, than what I am now, is that I used to be something else and can never go back. Am I still changing? I don’t feel like I’m changing, but I must be in flux, since I am not what I used to be. What lies ahead? I can’t tell. I can see that those around me have gone through similar changes, and those ahead of me are different still, but is that what I will become? What will it feel like? I see that I may look different, but will that change who I am? I resign myself to waiting to see, then I can compare, but by the time I get there, that is me and what I was when I asked is just a memory. That won’t do for objective comparison, so I let it go, and just assume that I have changed.

Way ahead in the distance I can see a vast, dark, blue expanse; an end to my existence, but it is far away, and bigger than anything I have ever seen. I can tell every once in a while that it is getting closer, but as with my changing form, its distance seems static. Its existence is disturbing, so I try not to think about it as I barrel on ahead towards it.

The wind tosses me about. I still charge ahead, I can never stop charging ahead, but sometimes the wind pushes me side to side and I meet others like me. Together we dance, and laugh, and share, but we are all headed towards that great big end, and we all know it. Some of those around me have been with me all along, as far as I know. There are others that come and go on occasion, and though a few of them I consider friends, we cannot fight the wind. It’s like our charge towards the end, we must just accept that some will be with us for the entire journey, others will come and go, while others still will enter our life for a brief time, then disappear, never to return, like the past.

I learn to enjoy and cherish those that the wind has allowed me to be near while we charge ahead to the big, dark, blue end.

The end, as it gets closer and closer, begins to develop texture, an uneven surface, and a looming presence that seems to be approaching faster than I originally thought. I try not to think about it still, and enjoy the company of the friends around me, but it is so close now that everywhere ahead of me is now an expanse of uneven, dark blue that swells and pulses, changing all the time, but always there, getting closer. I have moments where I can push it out of my mind, but as it grows closer, those moments become harder to come by.

I start to see some of those ahead of me, many of which have been my friends, disappear into the dark surface. I am scared, but it is not a surprise, I have known this was coming since the first time that I looked ahead, but it seems to be coming too fast.

As I get closer, I can see each one of them plunge headlong into the surface, the form that makes up what they are is immediately dispersed. They are gone, leaving nothing but a small ripple.

It is so close now that I can see that the surface, the end, is made of the same thing I am, when I strike it, I will become part of it, and it will be changed in a small way because of me. I suddenly understand that it only exists because we do, and we are only able to make our journeys, as short as they are, because of this great looming end. In my last moments, now able to hear the splashes of those around me meeting their ends, I reflect on my journey from the clouds. I smile as I strike the surface, sending out my own little splash and disappearing forever into the sea.

I smile because I have finally learned that without the sea at the end, raindrops like me could not exist.

Reverse Pinocchio

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He always hated children.

He never had kids of his own and when he died, he left his small piece of land to a friend. His only wish was to be cremated, his ashes mixed with the soil, and a redwood planted to absorb his body’s nutrients. That way, his friends and family would have a place to come and speak to him.

As the years passed, though, the few that had ever come to visit stopped coming. The land passed from his friend’s hands to another, and the distinction of the tree was remembered by none.

The tree grew tall and forgotten.

Many years later, the tree was cut down and turned into a picnic table. The land became part of a park and the table became a place where children liked to carve their names and little hearts.

He always did hate children.