I don’t get sad when I see rain begin to fall.
For me, melancholy and rain do not mix.
I love to feel it on my face, on my lips….
Kiss the rain boy…..
Always kiss a friend when you see them again….
It is this purification ritual from the weeping sky that prepares me for time travel.
Rain is sustenance for my earth.
It makes all the pretty flowers grow.
It is also the fuel that propels me back through the myriad of my wilting memories as I grow older, as time moves me further away from dimming days and shadow people that made up my life then.
My actual really real time machine is a kitchen chair by the window.
The floor my chair sits on is linoleum. The kitchen table is under my elbow.
The curtains of the window I am looking thru have little red apples on them, and their sashes are perfectly dusty and smell like breakfast.
The rain makes the glass look like it is melting.
The puddles in the grass sparkle with rain, the porch has changed colors.
It is beginning….
I can feel time rewinding
I fall through the dripping glass….
I remember curtains.
I remember curtains floating from the cool, humid air lightly blowing through the windows of the ‘kids’ bedroom in my Grannies house.
I lay on a bed full of goose down and feathers, the smell of old tarnished brass and the worn texture of a hand-stitched quilt older than my granny makes me feel…..back home.
That old bed was soft.
When I was lying on those fluffy white blankets and big cool pillows all you could see was my toes and my nose…..
I looked like a silent submarine running an Arctic Patrol…
I remember the ceiling fan spinning slowly with a slight wobble and a clicking noise as the pull chain would twirl in the opposite direction of the fan blades.
I never could figure that out.
In my child’s mind, I always wondered if it would fall on me while I slept and chop me to pieces in its death throes.
It spins to this day……40 years later.
I don’t think it’s ever been turned off.
Maybe it is the only thing that keeps this world turning….
I remember Mr. Pete White’s little store where quarters and dimes went to die.
I remember Coke when it was real.
Man, I can taste it now. Just thinking about it makes me crave insulin.
When I was feeling grown and my Pawpaw would let me have a sip of his beer, my chosen fare was some saltine crackers and Vienna sausages.
Mr. Pete was short and stocky, his legs just a tad bowed.
He always wore paten-leather shoes….
His hair was short and white, at least as long as I knew him….Almost 1000 years I did.
He always wore a sort of dingy white butcher’s smock that was stained with blood, dish pan hands and tobacco juice.
The smock was stained from the blood of the countless bad children that he chopped up and made into baloney and potted meat in the back of his store.
That’s what Pawpaw would tell me….and Mr. Pete would grin and squeeze my shoulder, testing my fatness I would bet, and ask me if I was being good….
I always wondered which poor kid was the piece of meat or fresh sausage in the glass case today….going for 15 cents a pound.
I never recall recognizing any of the potted meat….
I loved Mr. Pete’s baloney and sausage.
The old sentinels hung their heavy, kid crushing branches over the house with either a protective intent or a taunting one.
The shade that these oaken behemoths cast upon the ground squeezed sunlight into pin pricks and the shadows killed the grass.
Only dirt grew in most of Grannies yard.
She was always sweeping the porch it seemed…..and fussing about it.
She fussed about the acorns all over the yard.
She fussed about the squirrels running and playing across the roof of the house.
She fussed about us young’uns running around like little Indians…killing her grass.
She fussed about all the racket that those dang birds were making in her bird bath, the birds in her big oak trees and fussed about them dang birds while they fought the squirrels for territory amongst the busted acorns and spots of determined grass sprouting with defiance in the dirt yard…
Then…. she would sit on the porch swing for hours drinking tea, flapping a church fan slowly around her face…..watching the young’uns running around in the dirt or mud puddles with hanging diapers, cut off shorts, tussled hair…….Just looking and smiling……… not fussing one single time about them dang birds and squirrels.
I remember making lots of tasty muddy acorn pies that no one ever ate.
I remember how shiny the road that ran by Grannies would get after an afternoon rain shower.
You could see yourself in it.
The big log trucks throwing up mists of water as they roared by, blasting their horns when we would wave at them, we were usually standing ankle deep in rain that filled up the ditch by the house.
The swimming hole….
I think that’s when I fell in love with big rigs.
I remember looking down the road toward Pete White’s store and seeing my Pawpaw’s truck parked on the shoulder of the road, halfway to the house.
He would sit there and drink his 6 pack of Miller High Life before he got home.
Granny would fuss if he drank beer around the house.
They both had to make way for the new highway.
Pawpaw is gone….Granny is gone.
The road by Grannies house doesn’t shine anymore.
The ditch doesn’t fill with rain water because the stupid county put in culverts for drainage….
The fireflies are gone because of insecticides that the farmers say won’t hurt the environment.
The Oak trees are gone too, riding on the back of that eternal log truck.
I love the rain.
It takes me back to the innocent time.
It takes me back in time to when I was a kid and did not know the world.
But I promise you one thing….
Before I die…..
I will forget about the world and what it has done to me….to us grown-ups.
I think I’ll try a bite of one of those acorn mud pies one day.
Just to see what it tastes like.
Either way I bet….I’ll taste both.