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The Man In the Rain

A friend kissed me today.

I'd ended up in his house, sharing coffee and chatter, watching the news and the footage of the drought;
street sounds drifting up through the still air and the open window;
the coiling heat gathering, gathering and intensifying since last week and us in the coolness of his room looking at corn dying on a flickering screen and waiting for the rain.

There is a feeling when a storm gathers, just before it breaks.
This feeling of heat and pressure steadily building.
The heat which coats everything and the world seems veiled in a film of perspiration and alive with tingling of the electricity in my skin, the beating of my heart.

Sometimes before a storm everything seems expectant, coiled, bating its breath. The trees shiever, to pant, as though the entire world is at attention, watching, listening, waiting.

Sometimes before a storm or duirng a full moon i feel very stange, hyperaware yet removed from myself almost, distant from the part of me that rationalises and thinks and i am laughter and pure power and the ability to make a crazy choice in an instant and not regret it. Everything wears a faint corolla of energy and there is a pressure that gathers in me, in my chest, in the pit of my stomach like thunder in a cloud before it breaks.

We realised I was going to be late, he said he'd walk me home. We stepped outside, and almost as soon as we did the storm broke. We looked at each other, and it seems without thinking grabbed hands and ran. Down the street, splashing in puddles, dodging cars, breathing in the smell of dust and the wet stone.

I didn't want him to let go of my hand. The city seems a secret city, newly discovered and he and I were newly-made, shaped by longing and the rain, with something whispering in the spaces between us- weaving itself from storm and light.

I didn't want to leave that moment, the shadowed doorway (mine) in which we stood saying goodbye while the rain fell. It was one of those moments that seems so slowed down its almost frozen, for a second we had broken rules we had stepped out of time and if we didn't breathe, didn't move, didn't say anything at all we could stay there and not have to return to our lives and think and hurt again.

It was one of those moments that makes my vision suddenly sharpen, so that I saw him with incredibly acuity, the way the light seemed to coalesce around the bones of his face and the rain sliding down his throat and my wet hair and the sky above flint-grey sky above Belgrade and the magical way that wet earth smelled. And with the same absolute clarity even before i felt his hand on the back of my neck I knew he is going to kiss me.

He did.
I surprised myself by kissing him back.

We are friends who love each other but are not in love.
At best we are in love with the rain. With this moment, with the idea that anything is possible, with the freedom of following our hearts desires and doing something unexpected and impulsive and surreal. We are in love perhaps with the notion that we have stepped out of our lives, with the sweet and above all illusory idea that we have a future together.

We don't.
This is a crossroads- that's all.

I am not sure what it all means except that another realtionship just got more complicated.
I had to go home to a dinner I was late for. We may see each other in a few days and not talk about what happened and never mention it again. Or we may indeed talk about it and kiss again and make love for a few days and hold each other briefly because we are running away from ourselves I think, in this crossroads between lovers.

but etiher way i know how it ends long term.
in six months when i will be back again there will be a girfriend in his life or a boyfriend in mine and we'll chat about what's new and drink coffee and not cross the boundaries which we don't talk about but which exist nonetheless.

And all I'll have is this - the memory of the rain and of a completely perfect moment.


deep sky, firefly

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