Tuesday, June 8

Five Minutes of Rain Ranting

It's been raining without end. Things are feeling grim. The girls next door are actually beginning to tire of going outside under charming umbrellas after school; water rushing down the curbside gutters has begun to lose its appeal. I have not heard that needlessly optimistic line, "Well, at least we don't have to water the garden" for at least two days now. The dehumidifier in my basement is humming like the Fourth Tenor, all day and all night, minus the tuxedo. Last night it woke me up twice, just clearing its throat, apparently.

Me, I need sunshine. My whole being seems to shrink into a shell in a siege of dreariness like this. I don't care about getting wet. I just care about color and in order to have color you need to have light.How many shades of green can there be? Swarms of mosquitoes are rubbing their larval hands in glee at the prospect of blood ahead. The fish are not biting. The lakes are all roiled and muddy, and it's not really safe to go out in a boat. Great bloated bodies of preternaturally large carp loll near the shoreline of the beach behind my house.

This is not April. This is June. I attended a sermon on detachment this Sunday, but it's not helping me to let go of the deep seated disdain I feel for anyone who says with an inappropriate sense of brightness, "If you don't like the weather here, just wait five minutes." These are people who have never lived elsewhere. The weather here is as stolid as the denizens. It has been raining for days. Things do not change here. Winter is cold and too long. Summer is humid, almost to the hour. Rain hangs on for days. Fall is perfect sometimes.

Anyone who has lived here for more than 20 years should go somewhere far away. That means beyond Illinois or Iowa, Michigan or Minnesota.. At least once. And don't eat at any chain restaurants when you go, including the restaurant inside the Holiday Inn, even if they are serving prime rib as their special, maybe particularly if they're serving prime rib. Go. Go now.

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