Faces Coming Out Of the Rain

Ray Bradbury wrote a book called The Day it Rained Forever. How come it took me this long to discover that? Rain means misery for dogs in animal shelters; volunteers to walk them won’t show up. I do. Rain worsens clearcuts, but that’s not rain’s fault. Rain splits; the sun cracks. A woman standing in brilliant sunshine outside a grocery store screamed terrible hateful words into her phone. Her face was pinched and red. Had it been raining, no such screaming would have occurred. Think of all the terrible hateful conversations rain aborts for screamers into their phones. The world is so much better without these words screamed in public for everyone to hear. A therapist asked me about loneliness and implied that willful cultivation of solitude makes someone emotionally sick. I said I wasn’t lonely, I have rain. It did not go over well. It rained right past him. A country song called “Rocking to the Rhythm of the Rain” played on country radio. It was sung by a female artist unknown to me and it sounded phony. Now “Rainin’” by Rosanne Cash, that’s real rain country song with real tasty rain guitar licks. It occurs to me that I am currently writing about dogs in precisely the same manner I write about rain. So I guess my dog book will be a rain book too. Rain has a ramshackle quality to it and I love the word “ramshackle.” Another word I love is “raiment.” It has nothing to do with rain but I have provided raiment to homeless men in need of staying dry in rain. I miss several people with “rain” in their names, literally or almost anagram. I wonder if anyone in the world is named Drizzle? I know there many Mistys out there although Misty is an old name and nearly extinct. I am reading a Brazilian detective novel called The Silence of the Rain, and the author is perfunctory with his rain in Rio. I have lost so many of the great rain people in my life. Will new ones emerge? I met an old man walking down a road. He told me, “I can hear the trees howling for rain.”

Jim Morrison wrote and sang: When you’re strange/ Faces come out of the rain

I recently heard this line, in the car, on the radio, in mono, in the middle of strange nowhere, while it was raining, hard, lamented faces were coming at me, and the line was so incredible that I nearly had to pull over and contemplate it. I cannot believe I never considered this line for the rain book or my faces-themed writing workshop! What are the strange faces that come out of the rain? What a writing prompt. Write on it! See what transpires listening to AM radio?

Jim, I apologize for disparaging you in my rain book. You were a rare, almost unprecedented man of the sun…and rain. That is a rare thing indeed. And of course, it probably killed you.

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