Soft, blind, between a wet place and a hard place
Today was full of phone calls and emails and dreadfully lonely. Well, no, that was the end: it started off good, with a warm bed, then my semi-brother coming by for breakfast. I learned that i can be somewhat fun, funny even, in real life - given a friendly situation. It's easy to forget, given that i work, then see no one but my housemates, who have their own lives. But i had them laughing, and the conversation rolled easily off our tongues. Then all the people evaporated.

The rain started not too late in the evening, as i was making a dinner for myself. I was thinking of a movie i had to rent (recommended by P_I) and walking in the rain to get it, and also of my ex-boyfriend, who was probably lonelier than i, and whose happiness was always so fragile and distant, but moreso now. I wanted to call, but knew there would be nothing to say, and my voice would turn hard too quickly. It's not something i can control, anymore. It's part of my new urge for self-preservation. But: he called me. And i was glad to hear him.

Except - that everything was terrible. The problems were far too big for me to solve, and they were/were not my fault. The void that held him reached out and threatened me over the phone. I could hear the city streets below him, and music coming from the windows, and the tears. I turned up the volume to hear what he was saying, and the cacophony only became more intrusive.

When i hung up, i was tight with tears and wanted to hurt something. How unfair that this life, this disease should happen to someone so beautiful. How unfair that his gifts are held back from the world. I can only hope that my desperate resolve will trigger him to help himself. How unfair, how unfair. Maybe there is no reason at all. Maybe there is only will.

I call a precious friend and discuss, try to process what has been said tonight. Inbetween my brother calls and i tell him i will call back. He's all alone at his house, and undoubtedly lonely himself.

When i hang up, i decide to go find that movie. Ought to be nothing like a good eastern european flick to assuage my angst! It's pouring outside, and my concession to the weather is a baseball cap, so i don't have to squint. The guys at the video store remember my name, though i haven't rented there since well before Dan left, and ask how i've been. The movie i'm looking for is there, but someone else has rented it. Oh well.

On the way home, as i get nearer to the underpass where the train tracks go over the road (like a string holding down Northampton, which is a flighty town), i see something small running across the sidewalk. Under the bridge, there is a stone wall on one side, and a three-foot drop to the street on the other ... and a small animal scurrying across, lost, scared. I run to see.. it doesn't look like a mouse. It's a mole, with nowhere to dig.

As i come near it, it runs to the curb, and i lose sight of it. I look over the railing and see it fighting the river that is running along the street below. There's no diggable earth for a long way, and it's almost over its head. So i swing down to the street, and give it something to crawl into, in the form of my hat. Then i close up the hat-bundle, feeling the frantic oh-no! that was a mistake! struggle from inside, and go to look for any kind of unpaved turf.

When I emerge from the alley, my hat in my hand and a smile on my face, soaking, the guy passing gives me a strange look. And yeah- how could i explain? My best part of today has been the rescue of a mole from the street.

There might be something to be said at this point for simple pleasures. Or simple minds. I really enjoyed being wet and walking, a wet, recently-vacated hat on my head; and when i called my brother back in California, he listened to the sound of the downpour in envy.