“Everytime it rains I fall to pieces. So many memories the rain releases. I feel you. I taste you. I cannot forget. Everytime it rains… I get wet.” ~Ace of Base
It’s raining today and I don’t have an umbrella, so I’m trying to dance through the raindrops, to stay as dry as I possibly can in what at times is a torrential downpour. You probably think I’m stupid for braving this weather without an umbrella, or at the very least blindly optimistic that the atmospheric fortunes might shift into more favorable conditions, when in fact I’m neither of these things. I don’t fancy myself a meteorologist, or a strong guy who can just take the rain without a whimper. I can whimper with the best of them, but I do suck it up because I know the alternative.
You see, I’ve lost 16 umbrellas in my life. I know because I’m anal about things like that, things that I should have the ultimate control over but that still seem to happen anyway. As a perfectionist it’s difficult to see another umbrella disappear when I had it in my hands mere moments before. But it kept happening regardless, and I kept beating myself up over it. Oh yeah, and still getting wet anyway.
When it happens to me once, it’s okay. These things happen. When it happens twice, shame on me because I should have learned after the first time. When it happens 16 times it just seems like I’m cursed, that like Romeo I am indeed “fortune’s fool.” After approximately the 5th umbrella I lost I started making reminders, like color-coded rubber bands around my wrist, and bringing a bag to put the umbrella in when not in use. Yeah, I forgot I was wearing the rubber bands, and the bag also came up missing.
So I stopped buying them. I stopped carrying them around even if they were available to me some other way. I stopped caring whether or not I got wet. I figured, “At least I’m not losing any more umbrellas,” and that mantra has stood the test of time. The number will stay at 16 forever, and I guess I can live with that now. I guess I don’t still have the sense of remorse that I used to carry around like so many invisible umbrellas. I’ve made my peace with getting wet. I almost see it now as a sort of baptism, each time cleansing my soul of all the pain of loss.
But it would still be nice if it stopped raining at some point.