18 November 2014

Stories of Rain

This morning I woke up with bags under my eyes because of a face mask I had put on shortly before sleeping last night. There had been too much moisture where there shouldn't be and the low elevation of my pillow made things worse. Nonetheless, it was weird because I had not cried in my sleep. What I did know was that the skies had been tearing up since early today.

There is a bleak feeling about the dark halls at home. Too much energy conservation kept all the lights off. Or I would say more appropriately that sources of heat are turned off when everyone is asleep. That is of course not true since the condenser is always at hard work during the night. Blame that on warm Singapore air.

The rain made the view through the train windows blurry, very much like my astigmatic vision sans my eyeglasses. Though nothing is clear, memories from recent and not-so-recent past sparked as if trying to glimmer during sun-deprived days like these.

Several years ago in a small place I used to call home, one of the dogs decided I become his treat. The canine teeth bore through my leg but it was not as painful as the feeling of being desolate and remote from people who cared about me. The dog bit me again on a rainy night. I lay on my bed helpless and though I wanted to scream, the loud rain drowned my agony. I began to hate the rain and it was like that for some time. It took me years to reverse that.

In Singapore, the rain is as common as the lush green on the streets or in its forests. One day outside the train station, I stood still under the shed waiting for the skies to clear. My eyes were focused on the tiny water droplets forming and falling one by one from the edges of the roof. I was in a trance. Suddenly, an old lady interrupted me. I was at first unsure why. What I was sure of was that I had left my umbrella at home that day. She asked if I wanted to walk to the bus station with her in a relatively small umbrella. With less hesitation, I stepped out of my comfort to join her. We rode on the same bus. She was so kind that she wanted to give me her umbrella because she knew I had to walk a few more steps before I could reach home. Embarrassed, I refused her and then she got off a few stops before I did.

The day after, it was raining again and this time I definitely brought an umbrella and walked under the showers unscathed. Then a young teenage girl tapped me on my arm just as I stepped out of the train station. She asked if I was going where she wanted to go. With her aggressive youth but kind face, I paused and asked her to walk with me.

She spoke very clear English with virtually no accent. Her face and her arms were fair. She looked at me with her round hazel eyes. Her hair was light brown under the artificial light and suddenly it felt like she was an angel from nowhere. I remembered the old lady from yesterday and it was uncanny that they had the same gentle nature. She spoke with sincerity when she asked me many things including those about my future. I could not help but smile.

This morning I woke up with a gloomy head but then I remembered all these and realized some things have too much wonder in them. The rain has polished me like a blade of strong grass and for that I am just grateful.

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