I sit in a trance with the memory of driving around the underbelly of the Midwest, watching a hot rain fall heavy in the summer. It was a rain that made clear when it started that it would not stop for days. By that time, I’d resided in the area for ten years. It was not a good ten years. This was the weight I felt as I watched the earth choke on the downpour. The fields flooded. The muddy water reached over the road. The leaves of the trees and the brush lining the edges of the lake were brought to life. Everyone stayed inside, and I wondered where wild animals go on days like this. I remember the sulking sky, the light the color of old ash, the humid air warm as breath against my skin. I’d been disconnected from myself and everyone else for so long, I was delusional about the universe and the weather it sent.
The rain must be compensation for the loneliness. An apology. The universe owes me one. It owes me many. It gives me the rain.
I went home and lied down, struggling to accept where I was. Physically, mentally, existentially.
Years later, everything has changed forever, but only, as always, to the point of looking familiar again. I realize that every time I start over, things will look the same. It’s a comfort and a curse, the unending familiarity of beginning anew. All I’m talking about is time, I guess, and the nature of things.
I no longer live in the buried backcountry of my old life. I live in the city of Seattle. I have thoughts about the things that led me here. I created this space for those thoughts. It is blank and waiting, like all the pages I’ve bought and filled before. I sit before it, and struggle to accept where I am, still, but the reasons for this are different now.
I look out the window of my third-story apartment. I notice it rains, all the time. I think of the universe again. The conversation with myself mocks the perception I held, years before. Does the universe still owe you? Do you feel the rain like an apology?
It’s stupid and useless and funny, but, with every cell of my being, I look at the sky emptying itself over my new place, and I forgive.