Sunday, October 09, 2005

Where Are My Ark-Building Plans?

THIS WAS THE WETTEST Saturday in recent memory. Hell, it was one of the wettest days in weeks. We've been creeping up on drought conditions for some time now, with any rain that swept through the area either brief in duration or too swift to soak the ground and fill the thirsty reservoirs.

Not yesterday. The rain began falling before dawn. It woke me up at one point early in the morning, no mean feat as I sleep with earplugs to block out the clomping of my upstairs neighbors. When my alarm went off, I could hear it running over the sides of the gutters and splattering on the mud below. Passing cars hissed by on the soaked thoroughfare beyond my complex. It was gonna be a rainy one, I could tell. All of the humidity and fog of the previous week was finally returning to earth.

The past week was very much like a cool August rather than the whip-crack brilliance of early October. Monday through Thursday saw fog cover the area through the morning commute, lifting only to be replaced by humidity and temperatures in the mid-70s.

I felt robbed. I had planned to get off the train one station early once the kinder autumn weather came in, walking several blocks through the north Village with crisp air pricking at my skin . . . passing eclectic restaurants closed and lifeless except for food deliveries rising in teetering stacks outside their basement doors . . . watching doctors and nurses flow wearily into St. Vincent's clutching bundles of folders and coffee . . . dodging giggling children and their stoic, Central European nannies as they clustered outside their school . . . noting the miniskirts and dressy T-shirts of work-bound women giving way to snug sweaters and enticing knee-high boots . . . feeling the rays of the young Sun on my face before hiding from it in my brick bunker of an office for eight hours.

These pleasures will have to wait for some time. Next week will play host to heavenly deluges, or at minimum gray, troubled skies holding water at the unsteady ready, like a flight of B-29s crossing the Channel with the factories of Hitler's empire in their sights. Not to say I don't like rain. I miss having a top-floor apartment or bedroom, in which I could hear storms pattering and pounding away as though I were outside in a tent. Yesterday's rain was close to ideal from that standpoint . . . cool air blowing away the hated summer heat that had returned unbidden last week, soaking deluges blowing against my apartment, winds refreshing my apartment as I crouched in front of this computer. The only thing missing was thunder and lightning . . . and maybe someone to share the storm, watching the bedroom curtains blow in and the candles gutter as we snuggled closer for warmth.

If there is any justice, the fall weather for which I yearn will merely be deferred to later in the month, and I will still have some weeks of true autumn to enjoy. I have a couple of days off planned later in October — and some more stashed in case the fall calls me outside — so I am hoping with no small effort that this autumn has merely taken a sick day and will be back in the office soon, energized and vibrant, to get its vital work done.

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