It’s a wonderfully stormy afternoon, per Houston’s normal this time of year. However, it does not have the effect of making me homesick for Portland, because it’s just not that kind of rain. In Houston, rain is sort of a “dump and run” philosophy. In Portland, rain seeps into the soul… quietly, with no realization of the day you invited it. In the Pacific Northwest, rain is a deep, ever-present reminder of life’s inevitable valleys. It is as if problems become tangible, because on most days, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. There are things you can do to lighten your mood, but there’s never any call to bring it down.
If there is light, it is that Portland is a city of Easter people in a Good Friday world. Don’t quote me on that. I didn’t write it. But I would like you to think I did. I just added the Portland part, because it is an image that works very well in this context. When there is no sun, and seemingly no hope, people bring it to you (in bags made of natural, substainable fiber by the women of some Third World country in publicized crisis).
In Houston, I use the rain to reflect. When it’s sunny, I am usually in the backyard, soaking up rays like they’re going out of style. I have no worries, no responsibilities, no anything to weigh on me except the level of my beer. In the sun, I party. In the rain, I ponder.
In these moments, my weaknesses and insecurities present themselves, and, like Dana in front of LOLCats, I have to view them all. In fact, I will refrain from even linking to the site, because I know that if you click it, what I write next will cease to matter. It’s ok. I know. They’re just so damn adorable (No, they’re not. Well, ok. One or two. But after ten, my eyes begin to glaze over and I feel like my brain is running out of my ear.).
What was I talking about?
Oh, yes. My weaknesses and insecurities.
When I was fifteen, I felt deeply and utterly married to someone in an adult kind of way, but not because of anything romantic. It was as if the relationship skipped over all of that and went right into “let me share my secrets and lies.” Because I held them, she never knew what kind of effect her secrets had. To someone of equal age, they probably weren’t even secrets. To a kid, though, they were tantamount to a fire alarm someone’s in trouble move move move… fight or flight breath can’t go deep can’t breathe coming to get us…
I thought I was the only one who knew the only one that could possibly do anything to help it was all up to me or she was going to get hurt someone was coming someone was coming someone was coming,
A sentence with no period, just a comma, because a period indicates that things end.
And that’s what’s on my mind when I ponder. How did I keep all of those secrets without going mad then, instead of now? Maybe it was some sort of body memory trigger… remembering a place and time we’d been years earlier, but not verbally. Maybe it was the recurrence of nightmares I hadn’t thought of since then. Whatever it was, I fell, and I fell hard. I had to get out of there. I had to breathe deep and I hadn’t for such a long time.
I wanted my city to be my own, because maybe if I couldn’t enforce emotional boundaries, I could enforce physical ones.
It worked. I left and I took a breath and out of the deep I emerged and only when it is raining do I try to dive back in swim down grab an ankle a wrist a belt something to hold onto when I’m coming back up because I left and the nightmares did not in my dreams I berate myself for having a hold and letting go it’s my fault in my darkest place I let go and it’s my fault.
In my waking hours, when it’s sunny, the rain cannot touch me.