Video © Mike Celona
Partial Impressions of a City in the Rain by Lyle
The residents of this city are uncomfortable with their guardrails. They're on edge; not to be found out in the streets. There is a metaphysical slippage happening around them and this makes them feel sideways (or at least slanted [the stronger of them]). They watch out the windows behind the trees -- those black markers on lawns. "The suppression of language will always create a rift," the man on the radio says. The congregation claps. "The suppression of language is the elephant in the room that cannot be talked about but must be talked upon." "Or from," someone says from the audience to stunned silence. "Or from," the man on the radio repeats to thunderous laughter. Or around or toward or of or before. The metaphysical slippage enlarges and the residents of the city crystallize. Granulate. There is a general consensus of evil -- that language is a wide open field studded with tongues.
Courier Times by Forrest
About where snow can start looking unlikely. Sometimes difficult knowing when rain freezes into it. Or when snow isn’t cold enough. I knew his neighborhood, even through ice on the windshield. Enough ice.
Customers. If there’s anything that separates you and me, he said, it’s this: (tapping my arm hard, harder, driving slow with left hand, hitting, shoving, grabbing my neck, grabbing grabbing driving yet). Pussy.
I’m good. For all of it. He counts. I hear a number. Houses showing. He counts. There. Her. He hands over. Still driving. Stop asshole. He’ll push me out. Even through the windshield. I’m good. I hear rain.
Anticipation by Alan
The mind experiences a certain kind of tremolo when anticipating something. My writer friend brought up a scene recently. It’s the eve before a very serious storm in a large city. The authorities have instructed us to stay home. But when he goes out in the middle of the night, he sees in the dead of quiet a woman searching for some take out. “There is nothing open right now,” my friend says. She mumbles something obscene and rushes away. Afterwards, he gets into his car and drives all night. It begins to rain. He ends up outside the city limits. It’s true. There is no one in the streets. It’s an eerie scene. My friend told me the story was and still is very real. He told me from the road. He’s still driving. Waiting for something, that storm maybe. Always in front of it. Or behind. And in his head, those voices telling him about the precautions and other voices telling him to never be afraid.
Good Deed by Johanna
You barely noticed the man waving his arms on the side of the road until you passed him. It was dark and rain drops collapsed on your window faster than your wipers could heave to erase them. You strained to train your eyes on the single white line that bordered your path.
“Go back,” your wife insisted. You considered the hour, your child asleep in the backseat. You considered how fast a man in wet clothes could become hypothermic and how many good deeds you had accomplished that day. You nearly hit a boulder on the opposite shoulder while turning the truck around.
Your wife called to the man now inside his car, “What's wrong? Do you need help?”
“I'm stuck,” he called back.
You had four-wheel drive and a tow rope. You could do it in less than five minutes. You took another look at your daughter, the way her mouth fell open when she slept, just like her mother. Outside, the rain quickly dampened your t-shirt. You called to the man as you hooked the tow rope to his car and then to your own, “When you feel the pull, gas it.”
Your truck wavered over the wet pavement sliding tenuously toward the muddy shoulder until you felt the final jerk that set his car free.
He was grateful, too grateful perhaps. He slurred his thanks. You refused his money and the remains of a six pack sitting beside him in the passenger seat. Waving him ahead, you watched his tail lights swerve across the yellow lines as he headed over the mountain pass.
Back inside the warmth of your truck, the windows steamed over, the wipers still beating their rhythmic trance, you turned to your wife. She had been watching you, waiting to ask you, “What have we done?”