You didn't start out to be depressed, but some nights just end up this way. The coffee shop's empty of familiar faces and you don't mind driving around, getting lost while you know exactly where you are, watching a sleeping suburbia pass and wondering who the kids who left their bikes on the front lawn will grow up to be. Despite the noise of wheels through puddles it gets real quiet and unimportant thoughts start to weigh on you and even the songs you hate on the radio have a certain kind of axiomatic truth.

But you didn't mean to spend the night alone with your thoughts. You wanted to think that it was ok that excitement didn't come to you because you would come to it. And you didn't call your friends but you were sure you'd find them, and you didn't make a date but you didn't suppose you'd go home unaccompanied. But you've been out for hours and anxious and yet the night's still young. You've walked up and down the streets and not heard so much as the breath of the wolf whistles of a pickup full of high school boys.

Some nights you end up at the river, watching the rain hit the high water from a birdshit-covered reventment. And sometimes you don't care and you walk through the park and sit on the dryest swing you can find, pump your legs hard and fast and smoke wet cigarettes. Sometimes you give up and go back to your porch but don't quite make it through the door in case - just in case - you'd miss something if you did, were about to give up too soon.

Eventually, you forget you were looking at anything at all. There's a fiendish sort of pattern recognition that nags at you as you watch the pavement turn black with water under the oily streetlights. It's beautiful like the alleys you're not in, beautiful like stumbling home to a damp house with a slanted bathroom and unmatched sheets. Like the blues sung by punk rock boys and comic books about people who would never read comic books and a howl that's only going to fly up into the sky and disappear.

You've got a halo of smoke and used breath, steamed raindrops bouncing your foreign heat back to you. And your thoughts don't mind the intrusion of the rain's patient footsteps, though your hands are still embarrassed when they can't hide behind a cigarette.

Your lips are wet and your eyes feel clear. You can watch the water drip off the tips of your hair and down your nose where you rub it away to have the same drop reappear in five seconds. But it feels good and clean, like time has stopped and you're the only one moving, safe and far away behind a wet curtain no one wants to examine too closely. People zip home in their cars, hurry past with heads ducked low and umbrellas keeping their eyes from finding you, the heathen. Because you didn't go looking for it, but here you are, and enjoying it.
My house has a porch. It (the porch) is big, and it wraps around two sides of my house. We also have couches outside on this porch, which has part of a roof. You can sit on these couches, which may or may not have insects in them. You can sit there, watch the rain pour down, gallon after gallon of the liquid of life falling from the sky like piss or a gift from God.

Lightning flashes. Count the seconds. 5 per mile 1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . . 4 . . . 5 . . . 6 thunder. Just over a mile. Another flash, this time the thunder happens just as soon as the lightning and it's louder than the trains that used to roll by your old apartment. You see a transformer across the street on a pole shoot sparks, but you're still half-blind from the light. You could feel the air expand and contract from the intense heat.

The lights in the apartment building across the street are out. You turn to go inside and turn off your computer, but before you can get in, you see more light, then silence from everything but your heart. Slow. Slower. Stop.

I don't know what it is about rain that seems to bring emotions to the surface with ease, but I wouldn't doubt it has something to do with the fact it rains very infrequently here. When the clouds begin to gather, my heart leaps and I wordlessly hope for it, peering out the window now and then. Normally, I am let down, as if the simple act of expectance itself scares it away.

The most precious moments are those when you begin to hear the raindrops hit against the window without expecting it beforehand. It catches you off guard and you sit there silently for a moment questioning if it's true. Everything is then dropped, no matter what it is I'm doing, or what it is I'm wearing. It's even best when I've forgotten to put on my shoes and I'm wearing my pajamas, running out of the house and into the pouring rain.

The wetness against your skin. The unforgettable smell of it. The fresh coldness in the air. It doesn't matter what I'm feeling, if my heart was broken again or if I should be happy. It doesn't matter, as the tears begin to fall and my head is inclined towards the sky. I'm overwhelmed with this uncontainable feeling within my whole body, a tingling in my fingertips. All the wrongs, the regrets, the urgent emotions are put aside, only leaving a feeling of pureness.

It's like kissing nature.

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