It’s Sunday morning. I should be watching Friends for the umpteenth time and drinking coffee (dark roast). I should be curled up in a blanket, on a couch somewhere, taking sips and laughing. I should be daydreaming of weekends in the Caribbean, of trips to destinations unknown because I’ve seen them in a postcard somewhere. I should recall what postcards used to cost. I have no idea how much they are now.
I should be doing many things. After all, it is Sunday morning. But instead I am looking outside my study window, at the intermittent rain. If I am patient enough I can see it touch down in a puddle, which is how I know it’s still there. I’m sure if I open my window I would be able to breathe it in, the salty with the sweet, just like a confectioner’s shop.
I leave the window closed. It’s enough to imagine it, to remember it again, because I’ve been fooled before. I’ve been surprised by the smell of the rain, and I’m not in the mood for surprises this morning. It’s too peaceful in this moment to let it slip away. Music plays through my speakers, but it’s not Brahms, or Chopin, as you’d think it would be in this moment. It’s Beastie Boys, because that’s my headspace, because that’s what keeps my adrenaline pumping. I would turn it up, but I am not alone in this house. I lean in closer.
Teenaged me would be busting my chops right now. He was sure he would be a bachelor for life, that Sunday mornings would be pancakes at IHOP after burning down several clubs. He was certain life would be dancing through the raindrops without getting wet, not staring at them through a pane of glass. He would be staring at me with a lack of recognition, like when you see people after a while and don’t remember their names. After all, I’ve changed so much. I’m a meditation session away from being middle-aged. Or maybe I am already, but I’m just not up to admitting that to myself yet.
The coffee is brewing, but I am still trying to stretch my aching back. Now it’s Kanye. “Turn up the lights in here, baby. Extra bright. I want y’all to see this.” This song always moves me like I want to be moved, shakes me like I want to be shook, frees me like I want to be freed. But it’s so much more than that. It’s about compensation for time spent in the wilderness, wandering for so long. Darkness was like a second womb, but now I want this bright, searching light. I want to bathe in it like I can’t do with this drizzle outside right now.
Perhaps I’ll still turn on Friends. Maybe I’ll drink this coffee and reminisce. Or maybe I’ve been doing just that all along anyway. No one said life is logical, that it always makes sense when we want it to, but sometimes it does fit like a glove. Sometimes we aren’t so cynical that we don’t see the rainbow when it shows up across the street like it has so many times before. The shadows don’t always creep in along with the tears. The lights aren’t always glaring, making us avert our gaze.
It’s Sunday morning. I should be doing a host of other things. Or maybe that is alternate me. He has patiently waited his turn, and I bore him with my rituals, with my cautious nature, with my je ne sais quoi that can’t always be captured within a frame. I imagine he sits, monk-like, legs crossed, humming to himself and wishing I were more like him. I wonder where we split, where I end and he begins. I wonder if we will ever be able to reconcile ourselves back into one. But that would take a retrospection I don’t think I could ever possess again.
Who am I kidding? Alternate me and teenaged me have both left this version of me alone. They’ve been gone a long time, because patience is a virtue, and they have none. They only live for themselves, as they always have. They only go down avenues they’ve visited before because they only exist in my narratives, in the stories I tell of what was and of what could have been.
So it’s Sunday morning, like it’s been a myriad of times before. My coffee is at hand. Peter Gabriel sings about red rain. But outside I think it’s stopped raining. I think it’s stopped raining.