#381: What the Rain Did and Did Not Kill

October 3rd, 2014

The rain killed the softball game in Eckhart Park.

Just south of the boarded church where plywood circles protect stained glass, the game gave up. Men, young only to the point where muscle turns chub, called it in under the light staccato.

From a diamond lit like day, they walked to the street, patting backs and praising performance. The rain was so light, they didn’t run. Just walked.

The rain killed the seating at an “Urban Grill” on Chicago.

Two young men in black, branded T-shirts tucked into jeans cleared the last of the chairs outdoors. With a final look around and a final wipe of the table, one of them glanced down to see a silvery bowl of water set on the ground.

The half-filled bowl being gently replenished from above was for patrons’ dogs to drink from.

The young man lifted up the bowl and, with a flick of the wrist, chucked the water on the pavement. He took the bowl inside as the pair closed the outdoor seating for the night.

The rain killed conversations too. A couple stood in silence under an awning. Their arms were both crossed as they wait for the bus.

But under the glim and light, under neon streets reflected in glowering puddles, the rain preserved things too.

In restaurants, dinners continued past the point of reason. Another glass of wine, another silly story told with expansive hand gestures visible on the pavement outside. Why not? Who wants to go out in that?

A woman inside a glowing Laundromat contentedly swept under chairs, around tables. She took care in her work, put the time in as the rain picked up outside.

The rain did pick up. The wind cut fast, lifting up skirts and jacket backs of the now hurried walkers.

A chalky fragment tore the blackboard sky. Thunder rolled four five six miles away as the drummer of umbrella tops stepped up the beat.

The rain killed this story. I went on home.

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You are currently reading #381: What the Rain Did and Did Not Kill by Paul Dailing at 1,001 Chicago Afternoons.

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