This is one from the archives; something I wrote at Andie Lewenstein’s creative writing class so many years ago. I thought about punctuating it properly before posting here, but decided to leave it the way I wrote it – fast and furious.
It feels relevant today in this heat, although I hear rain may be on its way…
If the rain never fell again, if the water from the sky never again soaked the earth, would the clouds move away, would you see the blue forever, the forever blue, you like the thought of that, no beginning, no end, you’d drink dry the rivers if there was no rain, you’d drink dry the lakes, the puddles, the swimming pools would be tiled square, oblong or heart-shaped holes in the ground, you wouldn’t be able to swim again, to float on your back looking up at the forever blue like you did one afternoon in Miami, remember that, or fish the leaves and fallen spiders out with a long green net like you did in Tuscany once, when the sounds you could hear, the whispering of the lavender, and the tractor purring up the hill towards the straight straight row of poplars to the farmhouse, never again would you see the clouds as black and dark as unpolished pewter, or the ones that scud about the sky looking like the faintest wisp of cotton wool, or the ones you can make pictures out of, lying on your back in Hyde Park, look there’s a rabbit, and a dog, can you see the ears, look at the tail drifting off into the forever blue, and your body is water, what would happen to your body, would it wrinkle like a raisin? would your eyes sink and every pore disappear into a fold of skin? each fold of skin disappearing into another fold until you’re in a heap on the pavement with no one to rescue you because all the people are the same, shrivelling and shrinking, the taps in the street rusting and dry, the weeds in the road brown and turning to dust, the grass, there would be no green any more, forever blue but not green, just brown, you love to soak your toes in the morning dew, (would there be dew?) lose yourself in the deep green of the forest, what would that be like without the dimpling stream running under the wooden bridge, you know the one, dappled with spots of sunlight coming through the leaves on the trees, but wait, all the leaves would fall off first, it would be like perpetual winter in the forever blue except no ice and no snow, and without the clouds would it be hot all the time? would it be winter, summer, you’d never know, it would get colder I guess, but the flowers wouldn’t grow in spring, and nothing would come back to life, and you’d never again be able to stand under a waterfall, a waterfall would just be a black rock, never again stand behind that rush, that solid rush of water behind which you can hear nothing except the powerful echoing raw where your shout leaping from your body sounds to your friends like a whisper, or that biting chill when the driving winds of Brighton swing your car door open and the tiny fast drops of freezing rain soak your seat, that would never again happen which would be a good thing, (wouldn’t it?) and what about the ocean, really would the ocean dry up, leaving cracks of mud with dried-up starfish, seahorses, sea anemones, and whales, huge whales, and sharks too, they would not survive, you would never again feel the salt spray on your face, lick it off with the tip of your tongue, would you be able to cry, could you cry, would you sob no tears coming out?, no flowing of emotions from your eyes, just the dry ache of a convulsing body, and as I think of this, as I imagine a world without water, a teardrop wells up, swells up at the back of my throat, rises to the underside of my eyelid and pushes itself over the tip like a waterfall through eyelashes, and after that comes another one and another, and as I cry big huge bullets of water are fired from the sky into craters of water, tiny little sparks of water dancing from rippled edges, it is raining, the clouds are crying, the clouds are letting go of the emotion that has welled up inside them, and you remember that time in Greece in the unfinished concrete building, when on the way to town for your evening meal, it started raining and you dashed, bag on head to the concrete shelter, cables poking out, and you sat on the upturned orange crate until it stopped, and when you carried on, rain seeped into your slippy, slidey sandals, and thinking of that moment, you don’t want to shelter from it any longer, you want to go outside and dance amongst the bullets, to feel your hair wet, pushing your hands back over it, you go outside and as your t-shirt starts to stick to you, scream and lift it up over your head, water runs down your back and front and over your curves, and you are free.
Writer’s Notebook – a series of posts releasing unfinished fragments into the world. Recognising the value in sharing.