I have an intimate relationship with the rainy weather. Could be because it is the ultimate setting for schizoidness, or could be because I just abhor the sun and I have to love someone, and the rains are there out of default, to receive a despondent me in her smacking wet, cold embrace, ready to give me pneumonia. Love out of default, not out of choice, like the lonely bastard that I am. Fine and well, as long as the rains are hard and unrelenting. And with that corny introduction deliberately written to test your endurance for pointlessness, here are some memories with the rain—memories of triumph and tribulations, memories of joy and loss, memories of murder and mayhem, memories of... okay enough, try not to lose your 2 readers.
• Our dad decided to close shop one rainy day in 1987—our then-wooden house was being assaulted by the heavy rains and he had to board all the windows with some fortifying materials and stuff. He had to rearrange and protect important stuff from the rain, some of the most important ones being… his massive collection of 60’s comic books. At this point he was still hiding them from us, but with the rain and all we inadvertently found the liberty to read them. I remember reading the Lois Lane Annual and Superman Annual and being amazed at the art of Kurt Schafenberger and Curt Swan to the tune of the howling winds and the wild pattering of water against our rusting roof. Our house almost got drifted away in the strong winds—good thing it didn’t, the comic books would have gotten wet.
• Back in 1999 we had our P.I. class ending at 7 pm. It was raining zoo animals but Mrs. Therese and I braved the weather as we walked on using only a single umbrella, walking from the College of Arts and Letters to Vinzon’s to get a ride to Philcoa. As we passed by Sunken Garden we noted how evil it looked all dark under the rain—pardon my prudish self, but do people really have sex in the Sunken Garden or is it an urban legend? Nobody had cellphones or pagers that time, and good thing too because by the time we were in Jollibee Philcoa we were drenched. To quote an elementary classmate’s answer in an exam, we were basang sisiw, also known as sisiw na basa.
• The death of C.R., June 2008. Because I couldn’t get him a repeat X-ray, because the X-ray section was closed, and everything in Taft was closed because of the storm. And because of a lot of other things I would rather not remember. If our mortalities could only be immortalized as horizontal cuts on our forearms to remind us that we could have done much, much better, that the course of things could have gone differently, that lives could not have been lost. Horizontal cuts, to remind me of the could haves. Horizontal, bleeding cuts, because these are things we can never forgive ourselves for. Hand me that damn Zoloft-spiked Moolatte.
• Residents’ Batch Outing, May 2008 in Subic. The rains were hard and unrelenting like I love them, except that this was our sole free day away from the hospital. Brown-out in the motel. Huuuuge waves in the beach. Lots and lots of mud. Nothing to do. And for some reason Djanah and I were assigned to facilitate the day’s… activities. Of all people, Djanah and I. What were we to prepare, charades? “Game! Ano nang activities natin?” an enthusiastic, agitated batchmate said. “Wala! Mag-iinuman tayo at mag vivideoke pag nagkakuryente! YUN ang activities!!!” Djanah and I hissed.
• The weird projects we had in high school. Even then we knew how… how do I say this… pointless they were, so imagine what we think of them now that we have the benefit of hindsight. So it was raining hard and we had to make a periodic table… on a giant-sized illustration board. The storm was threatening to drag us all to hell (just have to use that expression), and we had to look for a single open bookstore or shop selling those rare, uncut giant illustration boards. So how did the giant illustration board make me grow in any way? Am I now a better person because the illustration board was one whole instead of one-fourth? Do I even know the difference between boron and krypton, or more appropriately, do I even know what the heck they are just because the periodic table was so fucking huge?!