I Have a Friend in the Rain


I Have a Friend in the Rain


I sat at the window in the graying dawn steam rising from my mug of forgotten coffee. Still. At ease. Anticipatory. Watching. A bead of rain trickled down my windowpane. Gray dawn.

“… Again!” shouted Salter, my best friend and sometimes lover, just a week ago.

“Rain again! Rain! Rain! Rain!”

Just a week ago. Before Salter, my erstwhile best friend and sometimes lover packed it in.

“I can’t stand this shit! When it’s not raining, it’s misting.”

And caught the local bus to Portland.

Salter stalked the room, his words tossed off toward my back as I watched through my window. He stopped. I could envision him if I wished: booted feet planted wide, hand dramatically raised, an accusing finger angled heavenward. “And when it’s not misting, it’s overcast. Getting ready to rain again!”

To catch the Greyhound to Arizona and sunny skies.

The sun rose, its presence so diffused by the rain that the sky barely lightened. Such a subtle beginning for this cloistered day. A delicate change in the way the raindrops glisten. Behind me, if I attended, Salter’s outstretched arm would tense in anger, tense until it shook, then drop loosely to his side, defeated.

“I gotta get out of here,” he muttered. “Get out of this rain, this depression.”

To sunny skies.

If I wanted, I could see him turn, awkward after his anger, to the bed, our bed, and pick up his duffle bag.

The rain collected on the branches of the big cedar, collected and fell, one individual drop at a time; alone, inevitable, a pure and tiny world falling toward the earth, attracted by gravity, to explode upon impact into a myriad of tinier worlds.

“I gotta go. I’m sorry. It’s nothing personal.”

Do those tinier worlds explode again when they impact the earth? Creating even smaller universes? And again? And again?

Salter, my very best friend and often, so often my lover turned away and opened the door, stepped through, closing it softly behind him.

A bead of rain trickles down my windowpane.

Salter missed the sunrise.

I have a friend in the rain.

R.L. Adare

R. L. Adare took a degree in Linguistics at U. C. Davis. Since first being published a few times “back in the days” of S.A.S.E., he has taught school, owned a kite shop, and lived and sailed on a boat for ten years—a few trips around the block. Currently working full time at writing on a novel series, Two Blankets, about a Nez Perce girl kidnapped by the Chinook and forced to live in slavery.

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