by Lupe Fernandez
Romantic versus realistic.
Have you ever kissed in the rain? I mean during a cold, drenching downpour. Water hammers on metal gutters, splashes in murky puddles, beats on window pane, liquid streaming off your hair, clotting your nose, stinging your eyes, dripping down your back, punching your membrane-thin umbrella.
I watched Four Weddings and a Funeral the other night. Great movie, but watching Andie MacDowell and Hugh Grant kissing in an English downpour got me thinking about what’s it like to kiss in the rain. No, this isn’t a romantic disclaimer.
I present another version:
I walk with Sheila around the Lodi High school campus and talk what we will play in our set for the jazz festival. My hand brushes hers and I cross the great chasm of insecurity – what if she refuses - and slip my fingers around hers. Sheila holds my clammy hand.
Drops go tap, tap, tap on her wind breaker. We hurry to get out of the drizzle. The sleeve cuff of her wind breaker rubs against my palm. Her jacket fabric flexes and crinkles as her body moves; we hurry to shelter of the school auditorium.
My sneakers squish on a watery sidewalk. Humidity has frizzed her red-hair tucked under her hood. I kiss her quick. She smiles, a glimpse of dull braces, and quickly covers her mouth, embarrassed.
Back in the auditorium, our fellow jazz players see us, my sweater soaked, her face flushed and our nervous smiles, followed by a trail of damp footsteps.
Love is like that: a gentle tap on a window pane, an invitation to fill parched lips of dry earth or a root ripping torrent wiping away the past into a chaotic present.
A little of both, I should hope.
Is it raining now?
Is it raining all over the world?