But it might rain.
Yeah, that’s what I said too.
No one wants to hear that, right?
Like it’s easier to not know.
Ignorance is bliss. I actually believe that, really. But it’s a catch, to even know that not knowing is better, requires you to know.
They laughed. The stool cushions let out a long sigh whenever someone sat down. So full of air and cracks. The afternoon light through the tinted windows made the place just bright enough to be friendly. It started conversation.
I’ve not seen you here before.
I have been, only a few times. I’ve only had the waffles.
They both nodded. At times they glanced toward each other, made slight eye contact, but mainly they spoke to their food, and to themselves; but listened with every word.
So tell me, do you own an umbrella?
Good question, to be honest, I might.
But I also can’t remember the last time I used one. I remember being caught in the rain however, several times. And feeling foolish, but also how fun it was. The fear of being wet, it felt so absurd, just after you were already wet.
They both laughed.
A good umbrella is a fine thing to have.
Just in case right? Do you have one?
Yes, but I don’t always use it.
I remember part of a story… A man named Fitzroy, a sailor with Darwin, he was involved in a giant catastrophe at sea, a huge storm that sunk over one hundred boats. After that experience he was driven to predict the weather. Even coined the term forecast. Spent years and this entire fortune devising methods to divine the near future of the weather.
Did it work?
They both laughed.
His methods were taken seriously, for a time. Entire fleets would stay docked because he felt like it might rain. Of course he wasn’t always right, because of course he was just guessing. And after his death, and he did kill himself, his system was abandoned.
And today we had 80% chance of rain.
But what we got was a few dark clouds.
The man finished his waffles and pushed the plate forward. He swiveled his stool around making a slow groaning sound before looking up and out the windows. He pointed out there.
I think that rain is gonna come tomorrow. I think it’s going to be hard and short. It’s the kind of storm that will catch a lot of careful people. I used to come here; I mean the few times I’ve been before, with a woman. She was the type that might, at any time, use an umbrella, even in the sun. Rain or shine.
Like nothing could get through.
So safe to be safe.
Were you close?
I thought we were.
When another person being there has made you feel alone.
Well friend, it was a nice talking to you. If it rains hard and short tomorrow I’ll thank you for the warning. I did see an umbrella as a weapon. Not a common sight. But that’s my warning for trade.
The two men shook hands.
When the rain came it was in bursts. The blue clouds moved quickly and scattered the pelting rain anywhere. The prediction was correct, but not precise. All he really knew was that rain was always about to happen. A safe bet.
In the Talmud it is written: If you are not for yourself, who will be for you?
My answer is a guess, but I think it must be: no one. I have not met you, anyone, but in a way you may be my no one. This is a message in a bottle, or a confession through a thin veil. I am no one to you before we even begin. I have poured myself out, and I become the empty cup. Before this message is received I am overstuffed. I wait, a little grating, and nibbling. I wait for you anyone, to read. I may be filled and left empty over again. A space between us shrinks if you read, if you understand. I must do this for myself. It is our survival, alone.
In the Talmud it is written: If you are only for yourself, what are you?
My answer is nothing. I can create the space between us. When I draw you near and make use. A circle of emptiness surrounds, it defines: this close, this far, but no closer, no further. When I keep you but don’t allow you. A door to keep us in and out. The self is interested. It needs. Without us, it has nothing. I must be for you, anyone.
In the Talmud it is written: If not now, when?
Never. Or maybe later, or tomorrow. Probably. Why not now? it is harder to answer. Let us persist. It must be now.
Read this aloud, inside your head, anyone. It sounds best that way. In this letter I will tell you the story and it will be in your voice, just for you. With the fortune to find.
The search was sour, without a plan. Is it hopeless to find something without knowing what it is first? This one is too – something, that one too – something else. How do you expect to be found. We don’t admit to being lost easy. Perhaps being found is a skill. Being found is a state. To put a name on it. To notice, and declare. Do this, anyone.
At this point, there is no point. It was the follow through that creates the power, the punch. A moment of contact ensures a play. In the movies someone runs from a train, straight down the tracks. At the last second they step aside, and live. Here the contact is a miss. We a missed. Strike anyone, hit anything that moves.
And it was nice, more often than not. Finally, found and found. Lingering doubt pushed down. The sweetness in knowing, certain, where we were. We did it. Stretching and reaching, twisting and releasing. It felt like surround sound, anyone. The idea of it, everywhere, but where. All over!
We walked as far as we could on a rail before falling. The fall was maybe six inches. The rails were of some metal, covered in rust, they looked old and unbreakable. Where the wood had worn away the orange-brown rust nails looked even deeper. Nothing bad happened anyone. The path just didn’t move, wouldn’t turn, it was a one way direction.
The breeze that doesn’t stop, the horizon that goes forever. What can I say to you or anyone? My space is full of empty.
On the door, pinned was a note that read: I have gone out. I have gone out looking for you. If you get here before I come back. Please wait. Knock like you mean it.