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Moments in the Rain


    “Your umbrella or mine?”
    “Where’d you park the car?”
    “Wouldn’t start, so—puddle—so I took the bus.”
    “Get wet?”
    Three moments of rain.
    “How was—puddle—how was work?”
    “Still there, though they’re cutting two more operators, putting in a new app, and adding more auto-tel responses.”
    “Expanding an innocuous line of cyclic connections that lead to nowhere? Insane.”
    “Only a matter of time and I’ll become a fulltime housewife.”
    “That scare you?”
    She shrugs.
    “Why not dig a hole and have them drop the phone in?”
    “It’s their job, if it is even one . . . Hey, where we going? The bus stop is over there?”
    “Eh, it’s twenty minutes ‘til the next one. Let’s take a walk. Rain makes things different. Cleans them up.”
    “Hmm. It’s the colors. They all look new.”
    “Yeah, never been stepped on.”
    “Ha, ha!”
    Four moments of rain.
    “I am scared. I don’t want to end up going nowhere.”
    “You’re not going nowhere.”
    “Four years of college to end up answering phones? At least at Burger King® I got a free lunch.”
    “And a plastic X-Man toy.”
    “It was a CD.”
    “And made a great Frisbee.”
    “Until the dog caught it and hid it under the sofa.”
    “He’s a fan. Besides, you have your own—oops, puddle—you have your own X-Man here to protect you.”
    “Hmm, if you’re so heroic, X-Man, how come you don’t put down your coat so your wife can walk over the puddles without getting wet?”
    “What’s the use? It’s raining.”
    “And here I thought I married a gentleman.”
    “If you wanted a gentleman you should’ve married my grandfather.”
    “Did—puddle—Did he look like you?”
    “No, more like James Garfield without a beard.”
    “How’d you escape that fate?”
    “I vote Democrat.”
    “Oh. Say, how’d today’s board vote go?”
    “Typical modern government: they couldn’t come to a consensus, so they cut both salaries and benefits.”
    “A truly Solomonic decision. I saw—puddle—I saw last week they gave themselves a raise.”
    “No summer school, either.”
    “So, we’ll have to pay more ourselves for Ronnie’s braces?”
    “Something like that.”
    “More from less. You’re a math teacher, explain that to me?”
    “Sure, but I’ll need to use a few more dimensions.”
    “Forget it.”
    Ten moments of rain.
    “Smells nice, the rain.”
    “Hmm. Trees make rain smell better, trees and fresh cut grass.”
    “The park’s just over there. I know a dry tunnel . . .”
    “Hey. You hitting on your own wife?”
    “She’s pretty enough.” Points at the ground. “See? In the puddle? Don’t they make a good couple?”
    “He looks tall for her.”
    “Naw, they’re okay.”
    “At least he has a kind face.”
    “Nothing like James Garfield?”
    “I don’t see that in him.”
    “Thank God.”
    Four moments of rain.
    “Why did you want to marry me?”
    “For your boobs.”
    “Your boobs. It’s my job. I’m a man.”
    Three moments of rain.
    “No. No, don’t you know? You were the only girl I ever wanted to ask.”
    “No way I’ll believe that.”
    “It’s true.”
    “Do you know I was more scared after you said yes? And . . . well . . . Why did you say yes?”
    “‘Cause you liked my boobs.”
    “Oh, come on.”
    Four moments of rain.
    “I really liked you. I really did. I still do. I . . . I just don’t seem to get the time to really say so.”
    Five moments of rain, followed by five moments of rain.
    “You crying?”
    “No. I can’t kiss and hold an umbrella at the same time.”
    Five moments of rain.
    “You’re right. Nobody can.”
    Five moments of rain.
    “Hmm, it’s getting late. Maybe we should head home. The kids.”
    “They’re teenagers; it’s Friday. The house is probably already full of pizza boxes, anyway.”
    “Hopefully without anchovies.”
    “Why? You like fish.”
    “Nothing on pizza should be called fish. It ruins the image for both.”
    “Only if left ‘til cold and then reheated.”
    “You—puddle—you remember the first time Bunny made you lunch?”
    “Oh, yeah. Tuna fish on peanut butter and jelly, wasn’t it?”
    “With bananas.”
    “With bananas. And she put in an apple . . . the only thing I ate.”
    “Oh, bad Daddy, I’m telling.”
    Four moments of rain.
    “There’s the bus. Got the right change?”
    The hiss of a bus stopping and then opening its door.
    She doesn’t move.
    “What’s the matter? You okay?”
    Three moments of rain.
    “Once more round the park, hmm? I . . . I know a dry tunnel.”
    “You hitting on your own husband?”
    “He won’t mind.”
    The bus rumbles away.
    “Your umbrella or mine?”

    text copyright © 2013 by mari t.

    photo credits:
    art: Together in the Storm. Oil on canvas; year ?.
    artist: Leonid Afremov (b.1955). org: Belorussia; pres: Mexico.
    website: http://afremov.com/index.php (09-13-2013; @ 1:30 am PT)
    download site: http://www.demilked.com/colorful-paintings-by-leonid-afremov/ (09-13-2013; @1:34 am PT)


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