Main Street Rain

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Misty rain blows over the dark storefronts along Main Street.  Cloudy, windy, dreary gray drizzle— it floats down kissing the streets & rooftops & awnings & fence-posts & gutters & road & buildings & trees & grass. It blesses everything with its touch. The same cold wet sheet pulled tight at the corners over low lying hills and tucked away in the valleys. There is a thick fog, reminiscent of an early morning London graveyard in 1872. But there are no body snatchers here, no oil lamps lighting the cruel night, no Jack the Ripper waiting in alley shadows. There is just the dull roar of water from heaven soaking and splashing and creating a thin sheen of electric rainbow on both road and rooftop. The crows are lined up on a fire escape, thirty or forty black mourners, their wings tucked in, eyes red, beaks yellow, silent. The city cats are folded up under staircases , long tails between legs, yellow eyes wide and manic—they dart from left to right like a clock that is wound too tight. The tired faces of early morning commuters pass by through steamy bus windows, most in dark suits, eyes on their feet or wristwatch, lips pursed.

A beat up old man in a moth eaten trench-coat and a patchy yellow haired dog, with dripping jowls and soggy paws lies in a doorway, the smoke from his cigarette rolling and swirling into flat gray rain kissed sky, the empty bottle of scotch being filled slowly, drip by drip, its gold label peeling off in the right corner, resting upright under a bubbled paint chipped white windowsill. He looks about with blank eyes,worried, like he’s wondering how much longer he will have to wait before the knot in the bottom of his gullet unwinds. Today is not a good day, he thinks.

The rain means less people on the streets, less chance of a nickel being passed his way, and even less bread. He stares, uninterested, at a pretty blonde haired girl with skinny legs in light denim jeans who walks by under huge white umbrella. She’s got wide,light sunglasses on, she turns her head to look at the old dog, and gives a faint smile, ignoring the man, either out of pity or fear. Her shoulder rolls forward as her neck tilts back and away, her eyes on the rooftops, not on the grimy wet dark blear streets, adjusting rose colored purse on slender shoulder, she sighs.

The streetlights shine in blurry orbs. The church clock-tower rings nine times. A red neon motel sign flickers on and off sporadically, the low hum and mum of its electric jazz is faintly heard above the pitter patter of rain growing stronger now—the thunder in far distance grumbles and wet shoes squeak in the doorway of a small cafe with a large front window and happy noisy chatter inside from dry patrons getting hot morning joe. Two women are sitting in the window. Dressed the same–loose white shirts, black tight yoga pants with bright belts and long brown hair that falls over their shoulders wavy and coarse. One rubs her temples with eyes shut, the other stares out the window with blue eyes. Her hand over her mouth, elbow on table. She tries to look bored, or maybe even disdainful, but she is anxious, her hand. . . it shakes.

All these people in their small bubbles. They walk through puddles everyday, some not caring if they get wet. The thing is, rain has a way of equalizing. It soaks everyone the same. The upper-class businessman in his expensive Italian suit and fine leather shoes, the bum weeping under park bench, the old man on porch smoking cheap tobacco out of a wooden pipe, the waitress on her way home from a 12 hour shift, they all get wet. And the rain far from cares who I am, and where I’m going, or where I’ve been.

It just falls.




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