Teresa stood on her tippy-toes to peer out of the small basement window placed so close to the ceiling. No sign of rain, yet.
She turned back to finish organizing the books on the newly built shelving, humming absentmindedly to herself. Some mishmash of three or four different showtunes, the same odd tune she always hummed when she was working.
One of the books felt different under her fingers ash she pulled it from its cardboard home. She paused and glanced down, flipping the book to have a look at the front cover. Smiling to herself, she took a step backwards and reached behind her for the arm of the recliner that she knew was there.
Once settled, she put her feet up and cracked the book open. She lost herself in the old childhood favorite for hours, and by the time she closed the back cover with a sigh, it was pouring down rain outside.
She gasped in shock, and quickly checked her watch. Sure enough, more than three hours had passed while she was reading, oblivious to the outside world.
She took a look around at the half dozen boxes of books still resting peacefully in front of the mostly-empty shelves. The rest would have to wait until tomorrow; right now, it was time for her to go pick Todd up from work. She checked her watch again, and grimaced It was going to be close.
She kicked the footrest down and got out of the recliner. Rubbing her finger against the spine of the book, she briefly pondered what to do with it, where to put it so it wouldn’t be lost again, before settling on the top shelf, all by itself, at least for now.
She kissed the tips of her fingers and waved a fond goodbye to the boxes and shelved books before turned toward the stairs with a sigh of regret. Parting was such sweet sorrow.
My eyes burn; I haven’t been sleeping lately. But the sound of the rain on the roof soothes me.
The alarm still goes off at the regular time, but I barely notice it anymore. It’s just another background noise that would be annoying if I were alert enough to focus on it. But I’m not, so it buzzes on, unhindered. It turns itself off after an hour. That’s why I bought it.
I haven’t been to work in weeks.
I sit on the couch watching the blank screen of my television. I stopped paying the cable bill last year because nothing on was more interesting then anything they offered. The lifelessness of the screen sucks me in.
But sometimes I watch the white noise.
The only reason I open my front door anymore is my dog. I get her food delivered, and I bring it in at night when no one else is out to see me. I can feel them watching now, like a sunburn on my exposed skin. So I avoid people. It’s fine, really. I don’t need anyone.
Maybe the thunderstorm is in my head after all. I look out the window and the street is dry, and the dandelions still bear their fluff.
I could have sworn I heard the raindrops and thunder.
The raindrops beaded and rolled down the window, pausing briefly midway through their journey to gather together on the rails.
She loved storms; the sound, the fury, the quiet times at home curled up on the couch. That’s where she was now, wrapped in the quilt her grandmother made for her aunt’s wedding. Her fingers were laced together around a cup of tea in a snow white mug, and she gazed past the steam rising up to stare into the eyes of infinity.
Her slow blinks measured time much as the terracotta pots on the front porch measured rainfall: inaccurately, but elegantly.
Eventually, the tea ceased steaming, and she drank it down to the last drop before going to bed.
TBP OLWG #15
Ten minutes; I choose 12.
As a resident of northwest Louisiana, I have heard from friends and family all over the country today, making sure that we’re okay.
Yes, there’s been a lot of rain. Yes, it’s pretty wet out there.
But yes, we’re okay.
Although it did take me over an hour to get home from work this afternoon, a trip that normally takes less than fifteen minutes.
Also things like this have been happening:
I thought I’d already introduced you to Steve, but a quick search tells me otherwise.
Steve is the green one, top right. The black and red belongs to my brother; you may note the crack along his equator.
Steve came to us from a yard sale, for the meager price of a single bumpy-sides quarter, as Abby calls them. Every Halloween he enjoys holding down our tombstone decoration.
I am unaware of the history of Steve’s black and red brother.
But they aren’t the real stars of the story today. It’s all about the mud.
When we merrily signed paperwork and made deposits, we did not consider the state of the yard after a heavy rain. In retrospect, this is unfortunate, but what else were we to do? This was the only option in our price range and location.
The mud and snow, however, have taught me things that I never knew I didn’t know. Like how my pair of Danskin tennys, while comfortable for making groceries and taking hikes, do not easily let go of the squishy things that cling to their soles.
During the first snow, I wore them out and left a trail behind me of dark, snowless mudholes. Every step I took increased the number of layers I walked on, until I was teetering and near disaster. I may be slightly exaggerating here. Still, Ian admonished me to stop walking around in the pretty snow because I was collecting all of it on my feet. I’ve only worn them once since then.
The mud can be disastrous as well. I wore my brother’s hightop Nikes–don’t ask me what they are, for a student of athletic shoe breeds I am not–to encourage the dog to brave the yard to go potty. I nearly lost one, then nearly lost myself in this muddy waste we call a yard. And the more steps I took, the larger my feet became, until I resembled a large duck. The mud clung to the sides of the shoes, and then more mud clung to that mud, and so on, ad infinitum.
I think I just realized why my legs were sore that one day. Stupid heavy muddy feet.
I lie in bed back to back with Ian in the bedroom we share at one end of a 1978 mobile home. We’ve lived here for nine years, one month, and a few days. I have come to love the sound of a thunderstorm as I rest, safe and warm.
On nights like these I lie wakeful, whether I’m as sick as I am right now or healthy as a horse. The winds pound the rain against the roof and walls, first in one direction, then another, then another. The waves of precipitation come and go, talking of Michelangelo. I have learned to fear them, since our tree mishap.
But the beauty remains in the music of the sounds I hear; the comfort of a downpour still warms me. The current barrage is not entirely unlike a classical masterpiece. I briefly consider making a recording on my phone, but reject the idea over quality concerns.
Yet another interlude of hacking doubles me up, and I get out of bed to take some more medicine. I discover two more drips where once there were none. My brother helps me with proper bucket placement, I find my horse pills, and I return to bed.
My sinuses burn with every breath I take, and the throat spray no longer soothes my inflamed tissues.
Perhaps another pillow will help.
The rain renews its ferocity, and I listen.