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A Rainy Day in New York City


Theresa Cecilia Garcia

Part 1

I met her today. We chose a public place, a mall in the city.
I arrived among the jostling of crowds and the roaring clatter of traffic often finding myself stealing quietly away vainly puzzling my brains trying to fix some clever phases and ceaseless self conversations. The floor glowed and flamed with all the colors of the various lighted advertisements and for the first time through mingled fumes of hot pretzels , incense, and tobacco we found each other standing face to face; both nervous, both curious. She was so beautiful, just like I knew she would be. We walked around, made small talk. Part of me was back in high school on my first date.

She was scared too. We had hidden behind walls for so long we didnít know any other way to be. Stopping at a lunch counter for ice cream, I finally had the courage to hold her hand and she didnít pull away.

We left the counter and walked towards the door. I was so happy. She seemed happy too. We had just spent the best day of our lives together and hadnít even realized it. It was pouring rain outside. She told me she had to go to the ladiesí room and would I please wait for her. I've waited all my life for her. She was gone for about five minutes or so. The rain had all but stopped.

All the while she was gone I thought to myself, when she comes back, I will kiss her. She emerged and walked towards me then past me towards the exit. Her whole appearance seemed to have changed. She walked very fast and her face was etched with a determined look that frightened me. She brushed by me, very nearly knocking me down. All she said was, "I have to go."

I followed her. I was calling her name and running after her. I caught up to her at her car. I begged her to tell me what was wrong. What was it that I had said or done, or not said, or not done? All she said was, "I canít do this!" I finally said, "You sound like you want me to go away." She said, "I do want you to go away!"

She slammed the car door and sped off.

The rain started, but still I walked home. Ten miles of walking in the rain but I didnít care. I walked from the Battery to West 112th street . It was perfect. No one could see my tears.

Outside late that night there was a huge thunderstorm. That was cool though. I have never been afraid of them even when I was a kid, I loved the sounds of the rain and the thunder; almost like I could ride away on them.

I loved them as a child would though, when I knew I was safe and protected. Back then I got off on imagining space aliens attacking or something.

Now I only enjoy them as long as the power doesn't go out.

Did I lose something along the way?

Now when I hear them, I worry , I remember and I wish.

I worry that the electricity will fail, and all lines of communication to my Angel, will be cut. Then I remember her walking out on me and I wish that I could be with her and hold her and that we could watch and listen in each otherís arms; and ride away on the sounds together.

In collaboration with Robert Brian Newbill

Part 2

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