It’s already raining. A lot. No breaks in the drops. Too late to build my boat, I suppose. But if I could rewrite the rain I would.
What if I catch the gutter rush as it surges past that point just above my ankles but below my shins. What’s left to do is fold my boat. There is still time!
Christopher and I were ready when we first heard the whip of the thunder crack, moments that seemed like hours before the dark afternoon room filled with the brightness of lightning tinged with the sweet scents of hot pavement steamed to perfection.
Jumping to action we fold our newsprint as quickly as our ink-heavy fingers allow, laughter baiting each other faster. Is his vessel better or mine? Who has a better technique for the front bow fold versus the stern? The port and starboard sides? Just fold — what you know you know and no judgment or self-recrimination will float you now.
Hurry! The storm is fast. There’s a perfect window to be timed — it opens while it’s still raining, but not as heavily, and the thunder has stopped, which means no lightning, and the floods are coursing downstream at full speed because they can’t get to the gutter fast enough.
Hurry! No time for shoes or galoshes! Four bare feet racing, laughter propelling us onward — are we in a swimming pool? My feet tickle with squishy grass, mud and worms on the surface. My face is wet with fresh rain plus what the oak tree dropped on my perma-grin fixed pose. I will win.
Hurry! Expand your port and starboard folds — create your base — just put it in the water! No time for adjustments. What’s done is done. You are done. It’s up to the gutter gods now. The rush is here! I step into the live stream, debris of leaves, twigs and my own giggles course past my bare legs. Laughter carries the two floaters forward, toppling, collapsing, tumbling into, with and around each other. No one cares. We laugh their way forward.
Both boats are victors, soggy and wasted with pleasure having fulfilled the measure of their creation, retrieved for disposal after giving their everything — and so the parade commences, barefoot, high march steps, wet grassy path, we’re “Singin’ in the rain! Just singin’ in the rain! What a glorious feeling, I’m happy again!”
Until the next storm. . . .