Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Chicago rain

This Saturday in Tokyo was characterized by occasional rainfalls, which became quite strong from time to time, verging on being a pouring rain. As I move around in cars, I did not have to use an umbrella. I do not mind the rain so much when I do not have to cover the space above my head with the nuisance of an umbrella. I hate separating myself from mother nature.

I love to listen to the rainfall in the safe haven of the indoors. It is simply scrumptious to read a favorite book on the sofa, while occasionally paying attention to the rhythmical sound of the raindrops.

As I recall. there was a particularly memorable rainfall in Chicago. I was 22, and was attending the 38th Japan America Students Conference. As the schedule on that fateful day was to meet with some important people, we had our best suits on. The day started with a bright sunshine, so we did not expect anything nasty to happen weatherwise. An American participant told me how there were flats in the skyscrapers in Chicago. The residents living in the upper floors are "above the cloud level", so that they sometimes have to ask a friend on the "earth level" how the weather was down below. The story amused me. There was apparently no need to worry about the weather on that day.

I was mistaken. We were all wrong. Suddenly, a black cloud gathered in the sky. Literally in minutes, the rain started to fall with a vengeance. We were in the middle of an open space, and there was simply nowhere to hide ourselves. Needless to say, nobody had an umbrella. We became soaking wet.

As abruptly as it started, the rain stopped without warning. The sun came back, and we were soon basking in the sunshine, while the water dripped from our noses and sleeves.

Alex began to laugh, with the characteristic, whole-hearted laughter that was Alex. I began to laugh, too. There was something amusing and refreshing in that savage exposure to the wild weather of Chicago. It was as if we were embraced and kissed by mother nature herself.

The experience was divine, and I remember it vividly to this day. The Chicago rain is one of my favorite wet memories.

1 comment:

US said...

A vigorous essay!
Ken and Alex are exceptionally good-looking men caught in a big downpour.