Monday, April 11, 2016

In Every Life

In Every Life
Bobby Derie

The weather man had been drinking. He had unloosened his tie and unbuttoned the top of his shirt. The camera zoomed in on his slightly glazed eyes. The moving map behind him had been replaced with a simple window, showing the storm moving in over the city. He took a sip, and stared straight into the camera.

"It has to rain somewhere," he said. "and it might as well be here. We've been dry too long. Had forgotten what it was like. The crackling in the sky, the almighty weight of that water casting shade beneath you, rich and poor alike. Rain comes down when it is ready, not to any schedule of man. Why did our ancestors think god lived in the clouds?"

Cut to his hands. He'd taken off his wedding band. The glass was empty. Then it wasn't again. He took a sip.

"There's a cold front moving in. It's going to hit that warm, dry air. Then we'll see the thunder. It'll rattle the windows in this town. All those penthouse apartments, where wives meet their daddies, and husbands their girlfriends. Right down to the street, where kids stare out of basement windows, wondering where mommy and daddy are right now. Dogs will hide in the bathroom, instinctively hunting out the cave where they will be safe and dry. Dry."

He held up the glass. His smile went from wistful to impish.

"No, it's going to be a wet one. Torrents of water, wiping some of the grime off this city. Channeled down the buildings, into the streets. It'll overflow the gutters - the mayor never wanted to run the sewers deep enough - and all the filth of this city will float and pool. All the sins of this town exposed, only to sink again as the waters recede. Maybe some of it will run down to the river. The main artery of this city. A concrete chasm, bone dry nine months of the year."

The weather man set the glass down, looked out at the city.

"I'm not a prophet. I don't tell you anything you don't know, that you couldn't figure out for yourself. Some things," he tapped the ring on the desk, "you don't see coming. Can't carry an umbrella around with you forever. So you leave it at home. You take the chance, you see. Trust that maybe, this time, you're not going to need it. Most of the time, you're right. The rest of the time? You get wet."

He polished off the glass. Stared back at the camera. Zoom in to the eyes. Bloodshot, but no more tears.

"This has been your weather man speaking. Stay dry."


No comments:

Post a Comment