So there I was, soaked and shivering in the cold Portland rain. I knew it rained here, I knew that we were approaching the rainy season, and yet I still left the house without jacket or hoodie, still wearing my favorite, thread bare, holey shoes. Still not giving much thought to the cold or the rain, even though the sky had been dark and ominous all day.
So four hours later, upon leaving the library and entering the cold rainy night, it was more with amusement than with anger that I stomped through puddles and made my way towards home. I’m not from here, so the rain doesn’t bother me, and the cold doesn’t matter unless it’s really cold, but we weren’t even close to that. And so I walked, 27 blocks towards home with a smile on my face. The rain was cold, but I was alright. My feet were wet, but at least there’s no snow on the ground, like there is back home. I thought of that time with that girl, when we danced in the rain. It wasn’t cold like this, but wandering around in the rain still makes me think of her. It probably always will.
I stopped in at Rocco’s because I needed food, and it was sort of on the way. I smiled at the punky chick behind the counter and she smiled back. She touched my hand and smiled when she took my money, and I smiled back. She was cute, with black hair and tattoos, but she was still shy when she smiled, and she looked away first when we’d locked eyes. I ate slowly and watched the rain.
The locals all had umbrellas and shoes without holes. I’d remember that for next time. I thought about her, the one I always think about when knowing that having someone to hold hands with might not be the worst thing in the world. I thought I saw her on campus the other day, but of course, I couldn’t be her. It never is. I thought about getting back on the road, running away again. I sort of liked it here, but my feet were soaked, my hand was holding no one’s, and that put me in a surly mood.
I got another pint, and the punky girl smiled longer this time, daring me to say something, challenging me to make a connection. I couldn’t have cared less.