The rain roared down; I kept clicking my windshield wipers another level faster. Two manholes were gushing water like springs, feeding a river that vanished off the road. Lightning snapped across the sky; I never heard the thunder.
I slowed down, just a bit, once I wasn’t driving through a submerged bit of road. Even my headlights weren’t much helping me see through the downpouring night sky.
But it was warm. Maybe that was why I didn’t hate the rain. I used to love the rain, dance in it, revel in getting soaked by sudden downpours. I could listen to rain pounding on a roof for hours. Nothing was more beautiful than rain… until it was, until rain instead made everything go tight and uncomfortable and ravenously miserable.
Maybe it was the monsoon-like rain, coming down with the fierceness of a waterfall–a reminder of those desert times, when rain felt once-in-a-lifetime, when clouds softened and deepened and hid the scorching sun–maybe the pounding on the car roof reminded me of all those times roads had swelled over with water and we’d pulled over so mom could see to drive.
Maybe I had just stopped trying to make myself still like rain, stopped pretending that I hadn’t changed since I was ten. Maybe I was finally willing to accept that I didn’t have to like rain until the end of my days, revel in it when it was almost freezing or it had been overcast for two weeks or enjoy how rain turns concrete sullen.
Maybe it was just beautiful and wild, and next time it rains I’ll be suffocated with unspoken misery again.