Monday, June 26, 2006


My little corner of the world is swimming in a steady downpour, and we've had at least 12 hours of rain today. It's not the kind of rain that makes you scared, like your car is going to drift away. It's the cold, stinging kind that makes you dread stepping outside because you know your skin is going to prick up from the tiny pellets of coldness falling from the sky, and you're going to be uncomfortably damp and chilly for the whole drive home because you're forced to run the defroster. I would even settle for the "it's so hot that this is refreshing" type of rain, but this is not even close. There isn'’t even that saving grace that maybe the rain will make the humidity lift. Just like that stubborn storm system, the humidity (the humma-DITTY, as my radio DJ said this morning) is content to camp out over the east coast. Fabulous.

Thanks to that big fat streak of green, yellow, and red on the radar, I had the scariest commute home today. I usually get nervous about driving in the rain because I'm afraid that a) I might lose control because of the water on the road, b) someone else will lose control near me, and/or c) the people behind me will get so frustrated at me for driving below the speed limit that they'll try to pass me illegally and we'll all get into a terrible accident that'll leave people hurt or at least standing in the rain. Not that I have specific fears... This is how you know that it became scary rain: I used the highest setting on my windshield wipers.

I have never used the highest setting, ever. Somehow, I always felt better knowing that I had it just in case I needed it. I know, if I never used it, then it was like I was always using the highest setting... I know it doesn't make sense. It couldn't be avoided this time, though, because the regular medium setting was just not cutting it against the torrential downpour, and I could barely see the car in front of me, much less the lines on the road. I almost felt like I was flipping up one of those plastic boxes over the red buttons that launch big missiles in movies. The crazy-fast wipers definitely helped in the visibility department, but the frantic motion keyed me up even more; it made it seem to me as if the blades were panicking because they were moving so quickly, kind of like I do when I try to kick-box. Then, I heard an incessant high-pitched beeping noise, which freaked me out even more, because I know nothing about auto repair or behavior, and the last thing I needed is to be stranded somewhere on a country road in the rain due to mysterious beeping. After this paranoid train of thought ran through my brain, I realized that it was just the panicky wipers squeaking across my windshield. That was when the lightning and thunder started. Did I mention that I hate thunder, to the point where I actually begged JG to make me a soundproof room that could double as a recording studio? Agh. I was so relieved when I was finally home, especially without hydroplaning or frustrated motorists, and I was even able to turn down the windshield wipers back to regular.

My day wasn't all bad though; I managed to get a great parking spot at work, thanks to a funny old woman who flagged me down as I prowled through the lot. It was my second time circling for the line of spots nearest to my office -– yes, the rain was that bad! - and she waved at me as she walked to her BMW. Hallelujah! It was a bright spot in a day where I watched the sky go from dark gray to light gray, and back to dark again, and I was glad to take it.

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