Today is the first storm to cap the Los Angeles Basin in the last three years. My favorite rainy day activity is whiskey and sad music while leaning back against the foot of my bed. At least from there I could say that I’m out of bed and I won’t feel so bad about spending hours staring out the window mouthing the lines to songs I’ve heard too much.
I saw her again at the liquor aisle in the grocery store. We had to say the obligatory hellos and I hate that. I don’t understand why we have to continue to acknowledge each other just because we knew each other. Couldn’t we pretend that we’d never met at all and couldn’t we just share this liquor aisle as two strangers would, with the right amount of courtesy and distance, without us thinking that the other is remembering.
I sat before the foot of my bed and poured a small glass and played with the volume with the remote. I tried to listen to the song but all I could think about was how she’d bought beer. She doesn’t drink beer and I bet that she was buying that for someone that did.
This thought wrecked the good rainy day so I took a couple pulls straight from the bottle and went to my neighbor’s. She always has good coke.
It was snowing in her apartment. Big, fat, perfectly formed snowflakes drifted down from her ceiling and got caught in my eyebrows and eyelashes. I held out my hand and watched the little figures melt on my fingers from my body heat. I could see my neighbor’s breath as she spoke and the coldness of the room made my body feel pink and alive. My neighbor smiled at me as she said my cheeks looked flush and I told her I’d had a few whiskeys. She gestured to the couch in her living room and as I walked I could hear fresh snow being packed beneath my feet.
After a few lines, we sat closer. One of her legs went over mine and I could hear the muffled music from my place through the walls. So we did what we expected and for a while we stopped being lonely.
We wrapped ourselves with an oversized bathrobe and we sat on her balcony being soaked by the rain. We passed a cigarette between us while I played with a bit of her hair by her temples which was so wet and thick that it squeaked between my rubbing fingers.
We went back in and did more lines until the drug made us want more of each other. We talked and talked and maybe said somethings we never should but it was okay because we understood what this was. At one point in the night we huddled naked together beneath a blanket of snow and she told me about her neighbor who was swept out into the sea while boat fishing. A great swell came over the deck and the guy disappeared forever.
I woke up in my room before the foot of my bed and I looked to the clock to read three. I looked out into the night and heard the rain. I got out of my wet clothes and I saw that I drank most of the whiskey, which was fine. I shook my head fast to see if I was hungover or downing. The choking feeling that followed told me I was. I turned down the music and sat leaning back against the foot of my bed.
I could hear the rain pelting the window and the palm trees. I could see the muddy, droopy lights from cars reflecting off the street. I thought of great big waves breaking against the shore. I wanted to throw up and I wanted to be in love.