I live in Vancouver
, a rainy city, more a sluice-gate
than a port. We have sunny summers, hot we like to think of them, but they're nothing to the year: we have 300 days of precipitation
every year and let me tell you that the grey clouds that yawn and lazily divest themselves of H2
O every day do not often bring snow. We pay less attention to the weather man than even most people do, because we always know: we can close our eyes, walk outside, and open them wet as with tears almost every day of the year.
Most years. This one has been a dry year, dry beyond expectations, dry beyond our moist
capacity for reckoning. It's early January now, and we've had maybe a dozen days of rain since the end of summer. The city hive people are rejoicing, pretending to hate rain though they've lived here 20 years; the farmers in the valley and on the islands are mourning in advance the miserable crops they'll have in such dry times; as for me I am lost, completely lost. I look out my window and can't decide if it's a cool August day or a rare rainless spring morning, because everything my senses tell me says that it can't possibly be a January
afternoon. The sky is blue, for god's sake. It's as if the pounding rain on my head acts as some bizarre pluvial catalyst
, activates some essential chemical process to memory that allows me to perceive the passage of time. As it is now, I stare out my window and see a streamer that a neighbour has attached to their fifth floor balcony and am utterly, utterly baffled as to how it can seem to be in so many different positions, how traffic
can flow, how the wind can blow, because this is so clearly a bonus level, an impossible day, a non-event. I imagine the individual frames of existence piling up one upon the other, blending together like multiple exposures on film
until in the end there is nothing but a smear of kodachrome
ink sliding off the base and leaving a monochrome
flash of white, a hazy hallucination
, but nothing r e a l
I don't use umbrella
s. I wear a rain hat most days, but I can't stand umbrellas. They feel like wearing a full-body condom
, separating me from the water I need to breathe. Lately I feel like I'm living in a dome
, and maybe my time sense is just stretching like they say happens when you take away all light cues from a person and they can't tell when normal day and night come. Observe subject yam, no water for six months. Perhaps the invisible hand of science is somehow recording my vertigo
. Progress marches on!
Where is winter
? I can't breathe.