Monday, March 01, 2004

I Am Not a Stranger to the Rain

I'm on the 3rd page of my art history paper (due Thursday) and I think it's a good time to stop writing important things and tell my rainy day story from last week, seeing as today is, again, a rainy day.

Santa Barbara has this new thing weatherwise. It's quite extraordinary. It's called rain. And it will only begin to do this at 9:40 am when I leave my English class and have to walk a good long ways to the HSSB. Santa Barbara, being a quaint seaside city, much like Venice, is not equipped to deal with massive amounts of rain, much like Venice. Last Wednesday at precisely 9:40 am as I left English, it began to rain. Big, scary, heavy rain. And it didn't stop. And it got much, much worse as the day went on. I was okay while I was in class, and even fine while walking back from Italian. The real terrors came at about 3:30 in the afternoon as I decided to brave the weather and get coffee before my Electra class. Little did I know what was about to unfold . . .

(note: I am switching to present tense for Dave Eggers style realism.)

It is really fucking wet outside! There are people wearing garbage bags like capes in an attempt to keep their backpacks dry. I scurried about with my hood up, gloves on, and my Eugene O'Neill stuffed nicely inside my coat to keep him dry. (In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have cared so much about a dead playwright's book. I could have just bought another one.) I choose my steps very carefully when going down one of the many flights of hillside stairs at UCSB because they are covered in mud that has slid off the hillsides. I choose my steps even more carefully as I walk along the lagoon path, which is flooded in certain areas with a mixture of landmud from the shoddy areas of the faculty club green and lagoon water. It is raining exceptionally hard. The front of my person is literally drenched. This is really uncomfortable. I make it all the way to the UCen unharmed. And then, right outside the fucking door, of all places, I fall flat on my ass. And hard, too. So, now I am wet pretty much everywhere. And my ass hurts.

I pick myself up, brush myself off (as though it would help), and head into the UCen to nab some coffee from Nicoletti's. I was hoping sympathy coffee from Brian the Barista, but no such luck. I pay for my coffee, and sit down on one of the nice, warm, dry UCen chairs for a bit and watch the rain through the picture window. After a good ten minutes, I brave the rain again. I think it literally must be worse now, rainwise. Definitely heavier and even more unrelenting. I trek to the HSSB through several large puddles that have accumulated outside of the Art Museum. Large, unseen puddles are proof that SB was not equipped to handle deluge. The water has soaked entirely through my All-Stars. And my socks. The next hour will be very, very uncomfortable. I have wet pants and wet feet. I am not a happy camper.

I climb the water-logged steps of the HSSB and squeak my way down the hallway to class. Everyone who has made it there before me is also soaked. Aditi still has water on her face that she has neglected to brush off. We moan about how miserable it is. And how miserable we are. This is the most uncomfortable hour of our lives.

Once the hour is up, I brave the rain again. It's still wet, but less so now. I make it down to flights of HSSB stairs before my foot lands in a puddle and a fall--again--on the landing. Ass is even more wet. Left side of body is now in a lot of wet, cold, uncomfortable, rainy pain. I whimper to myself as I very fucking carefully descend. I feel a bit like Myrrah, that I'm dissolving into tears, but it's really more like tears are dissolving me. I whimper all the way home.

And halfway there. I decide Raffi's place is a lot closer than mine. So I pop up at his door for sympathy and shelter and warmth. Kitties don't like this much water! I am soaking. My hair is soaking and I had a fucking hood on. Rafe blow dries me--hair to feet. With his hairdryer. It is both kind and humiliating, but, hey, I fell fucking twice in the rain. This is the highlight of my day.

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