Short Story from the City of Rain

Not a single person is doing anything else in the cafe but interacting with a computer, tablet or phone. I am writing in longhand on paper rescued from a fire, a fire doused by rain.

Dreamy dreamless lite indie pop plays on the speakers. Real human beings didn’t make this music. All in the ones and zeroes.

My coffee is expensive, fried. I miss Yuban, fresh.

I miss the poet of dandelions and hummingbird who works here. We once talked of Alphasmarts and the phony empathy of writers of published empathy. She got it. She won’t be like that.

Rain works its way here and there. No one pays attention to it. It’s not even an abstraction.

A man with a red, white and blue beard walks in carrying a fat book. So much for my theory. Theories are useless, particularly in poetry and therapy. Rivers and oceans don’t need theories. Neither do birds and otters.

Two Californians, the bearded man and the bearded barista discuss their California exodus stories. Everyone is coming to the City of Rain. It is rapidly becoming the City of Umbrella, something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime. Things change. Things fall apart. Things cohere. I love the word cohere. No one uses it anymore. Just incoherent. Rain is coherent if you watch it, feel it, rub it in. An umbrella is a chastity belt. (I just ripped off from my rain book.)

I anticipate a meeting later today with a long lost friend, one of the most important friendships of my life, severed in recent years. Can we reattach what was severed between us, and pump some fresh plasma (saltwater) through it, hook it up to a rain IV solution, and let the collaboration function again? It won’t be the same, of course. There will be different circulations and movements. I’m nervous to meet this person. I feel like a different human being since I last saw her. I hope it’s raining when we meet. I’ll throw a little salt into the rain and pray for plasma for the transfusion.

Traffic, traffic, traffic. How it acts like a dark lord upon your soul. It is changing the City of Rain. It already has. I need a new map for the city I grew up in. The old one is gone. Chrissie Hynde wrote something about that. Did the Pretenders have a rain song? “Message of Rain” would have been a great title.

I just heard the word fiance from the bearded barista. It’s been a long time since I heard it. I thought it was dead.

My beard is the heaviest its ever been. I’m becoming a sea level mountain man. Give me some wood to chop or trail to clear. Give me some rain to drink.

Time to move out of the cafe and into the arid requirements wrought by people who are utterly bereft of all the clarifying benefits of rain and have no idea what plasma really is. These are the people who also press their jeans and hashtag for social justice.

(If you found this post enjoyable, thought provoking or enlightening, please consider supporting a writer at work by making a financial contribution to this blog or by purchasing an NSP book.)