The morning was somewhat darker than usual. Although this July has been a tired, gray one, today - the twenty sixth - was special. There were numerous layers and levels to the sky this morning, each varying in colour and size of the cloud, the shape of it, the density of the mirage, the effectiveness of it all. I woke to the overnight fan still on the first setting, the curtains closed, the clock, 8. An interesting hour, specifically on this morning, in this home. Most likely still tired from the Chinese they had ordered late last night, my parents were still in bed, my brother’s door was shut, and my dog was silently breathing.
I woke to read snips of the anthology that my writer’s craft class had assembled. I read about five or six pieces in total, understanding more than others, applying different likings to different craftings. I read Rachel’s graphic text, piecing together her intentions a little bit, and the organization tactics.
Forgetting that the bananas I saw yesterday were on a friend’s countertop and not mine, I have toast with smooth peanut butter, blueberries and slices of leftover cheese instead for breakfast, with a tea that needs more honey. I sit on the back patio on the chairs that are lacking cushions because they’re in the shed for safety and storage. I feel I look as though I just woke up 2 minutes ago, out there on the patio, because I am starring into space, or into the pool. I’m not exhausted though, just looking.
Quietly, I decide to combine reading with swimming. I change from my friend’s borrowed pair of gym shorts and my undershirt to my Tommy Hilfiger bathing suit and carry out a towel that I used a couple days ago, the green and white striped one, to the backyard again. Before exiting my sleeping, softly pulsing house, full, I take the second last sip of chilled tea and pour the last into the sink, avoiding the complexity of finishing the beverage just to finish it, not because I sincerely want to. Why would I?
I am still reading The Time Traveler’s Wife from the cottage and simply have not had the time or urge to flip pages, and I don’t like it. Friends and friends of friends have read a variety of novels so far this summer, and I haven’t completed one. Maybe I will make days of this, whenever and wherever possible. My dilemma has recently been where to read. I get uncomfortable quickly, not like I used to. In my bed against the wall, my shorts ride up. Against my bed, my back sinks because I no longer have an actual bed supporting the mattress and box spring. On the couch is too public. In the basement is too secluded and dark, even with the lights on. In the backyard, my back hurts because of the awkwardly crafted chairs, sort of. On the front porch, I notice it’s always a little chilly and gets too windy. What the hell.
I fold my towel twice into a little rectangle and put it at the edge of the pool with a little section overhanging, almost dipping into the water, so I can lean against the edge of the pool without feeling that cold sensation against my chest momentarily. I like fuzz. I read a couple pages, not a lot, standing, walking, fidgeting with my feet silently so the water makes no noise. The temperature isn’t a temperature. It’s just wet. It’s air and it’s jell-o. I think I feel one rain drop, and later know I feel another, and subconsciously prepare to move indoors. When it begins to rain that rain that you know if you don’t cover your things with towels or move them into a sheltered area, you know they’ll eventually be soaked in under ten minutes. I put Rachel’s book underneath my towel and my resting area, and get the lower half of my body wet, because I am going to have to get out soon since the clouds are darkening and rolling in quickly, eastward. I tread water and swim to each end of the pool. I ensure only from my neck and above are exposed out of the water so when I move from one place to another, no large splashes are formed by my shoulders. This is nice.
Back into the shallow end, the rain picks up. The pellets falling against and into the pool, increasing the water level even more due to this week’s past rain fiesta. They look like spherical teardrops jumping around, making tiny splashes; those expanding circular water effects, little waves moving every direction away from the initial cause of this movement. Fairies dancing.
The thunder introduces itself and the source of it all duplicates from the west of our house to the north to the east, not the south though. The three directions take turns blowing bubbles, tossing bowling balls. I decide to swim more until I see the first batch of lightning presented, like the gorgeous, canned cranberry sauce over Thanksgiving dinner. If my parents were awake and watching, they’d suggest I either get out now, or whenever the thunder deepens and/or increases, or when it starts to lightning, as though it must lightning eventually. I feel like an adult myself though, as though, in the event of me being stricken by lightning, it’d be me responsibly for my death. Mother Nature would play a role too, but it’d be me. Not suicide, just being at the wrong place at the wrong time, or foolishly continuing to swim during a thunderstorm, aware of the possibilities that seem rare, as though I’m untouchable.
The crumbling of the thunder vibrates my windows and carpet and mattress. All the while, my dog is yelling.
I do get out of the pool though when I do see the first set of lightning. It scares me that this morning could be the end of my life due to a weird choice that I made. It made me almost angry to know that I could have died without accomplishing all of the things that I want to and hope to.
I brush my teeth after changing into my own pair of gym shorts, looking out the bathroom window into the neighbour’s often untouched summer backyard. Looking down on it reminded me of a photo that I took once. It was of their backyard, from my bathroom, just of their pool and patio and things. When I got them developed and showed them to my parents, they didn’t know why I took this photo. Today, I don’t know why either. Then, I probably did know, even if my reasoning only consisted of a couple words, a phrase like, just because. I wonder.
I fix myself into my bedroom, here and now. I run my hands, not my fingers through my minimalist hairdo and look at every wall, even if it’s only in my peripherals. It’s about 11:30, and I’m a little sad, because I love the morning, and it’s almost gone away until another day. The thunder gives a day a whole new meaning. It is as though today actually means something, and if you spend today lounging like a famished lobster, that is perfectly fine, and possibly encouraged. It’s a feeling I can’t quite explain, so instead, I am to just experience it and digest it completely. I begin to wish for the certainty of weather per day. I think to myself, I wish it would rain all day. Although, if humans knew this for certain, how could we appreciate these rare weather patterns when the time came? We’d begin to think, yes, it’s raining, yes it’s raining still, versus, yes, it’s raining, let’s go absorb it.
My neighbour playing with his pool gadgets confirms, “It’s all good, buddy,” either to one of his sons, his dog, or himself, maybe to me. It is good.