The rain and the strange things



On June 9, 2009, I wrote in my old blog:

It’s raining again tonight. I noticed after staring blankly at the dead monitor of my TV, lured by the reflection of the light from my bedside lamp. A silly distraction, I realized, and then I heard the sound of the raindrops.

How strange, I thought, that even without seeing the rain, or feeling it, you know it is. That sound, which I can’t describe, is way too familiar to mistake for something else. And yet the same familiarity diminishes it to a mere background.

Last month, while waiting for my ride at a hotel lobby, I met the chief executive of the company I used to work for. He did remember me, but only to ask if I didn’t shame him for recommending me to the graduate school where he sits as member of the alumni board.

“I’m struggling with my thesis,” I said without really thinking, as if the words came together by themselves and out of my mouth.

“Good luck then,” he said, like the kind you hear out of a movie script, though I sensed he was being sincere. Or at least trying to be.

The words “thank you, sir” came together by themselves and out of my mouth. I was being sincere. Or at least trying to be.

How strange, I thought, that the more you think of the right words to say, the more you lose control.

A few weeks back, when my brother was having a fight with his girl over the phone and his voice was offensively loud, I stepped out of the peace in my room and shouted at him to “grow up,” and I added with something like being sensitive to other people in the house who didn’t give a damn about their relationship.

You see, I’m a diplomatic person, whatever that means, but on rare occasions when I was provoked,  I said the most hurtful of words that made others, even those older than me, cry. My brother cried that night, too.

But it wasn’t the hurtful words I said that puzzled me after; it’s that by asking him to stop, it was my voice that became offensively loud. Mine was even so much louder.

How strange, I realized, that sometimes when you badly want something to stop, you unwittingly become its extension, its accessory.

It’s still raining tonight where I am, and I like it.

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