It was so easy to love the rain as a child. Never allowed out in it, always admonished to stay dry, to strip off shoes and socks and hop puddles was a treat. As a bespectacled machine, the rain is threatening. I am a cyborg; these lenses and hinges are part of my body, these frames are my eyes. Rain blinds me, renders me helpless. I can’t see with my glasses on– more than spattered and speckled, they are streaming and soaked instead, sometimes mud-flecked. But I can’t see at all without them, the world blurs beyond Monet, and I don’t even have the shapes of things anymore.
Then there is the matter of the cold. New England has hot summers, hot stuffy buildings, often with still air. It’s pleasant to be soaked, cooled against the whining heat of the cicada chorus. You’d have to be mad in summer to go do anything that would get you wet in Florida. We are climate controlled, in Florida, everything a crisp sixty-something, air vents roaring. We are modern, in Florida, living better electrically, with a constant chill to every indoor environment. To get damp is to freeze. Sweaters are ironically the rule in June. Rain, and the sweet grey days that accompany it, are a foe, then. No longer hot, puddle-jumping play times, rainy days are shot through with ice. It’s what happens when you live in a giant refrigerator.
I miss the friendly way the rain had when I was a child. Were it not for my eyes, the cold, the intolerable damp, the arrow-like velocity, the assassination of Kennedy, I’d play in the puddles. Maybe in this case, I just grew up.