Sorry I had to split the whole thing in two. I figure the “brief-reading” bug I caught’s a fairly popular one. And, in case you’re just joining us, we started with ‘Rainy Days: The Gambit‘. In that episode, we journeyed from the present to the past – and then, to the more familiar future. We’re here now ……
“How soon ‘not now’ becomes ‘never’ ” – Martin L. King
As I sit there sulking, I notice (for the first time) the cobwebs that chose my ceiling as a venue for their fair – and how they even seem to glow in the lightning. Cobwebs, in my house? Sabotage; somebody must have planted them there! Why is everything conspiring against me on my special stay-at-home ‘rainy day’? My job teaches me to take challenges in stride but an eerie feeling of gross inadequacy lingers; it’s almost like I missed a major lesson. Whatever the case, I’m determined to make the most of what’s left of the day.
A gentle rumble in my bowels reminds me of something I scarcely ever forget. How had I managed to stay without food till 12pm? Letting out a cocky grin, I head hurriedly for the kitchen. At least, this one thing is well within my ability – stormy or crappy day! Depressingly, had I remembered that I had been out of gas awhile, I would scarcely have bothered. I had not seen the need to refill the gas while electricity was regular. I would have watched a lovely HD movie in the time it would have taken to refill the gas. So, that type of ‘sacrifice’ hadn’t made much sense. Now, a large fraction of my sanity hangs on something that meant nothing to me a few short days ago. I sigh heavily, gradually conceding defeat to the ‘conspiring elements’.
I sit there in the noisy, dark-gray silence; shattered, forcefully swallowing gulp after gulp of self-knit disappointment – a short name for a cold meal on a very cold day! The rain’s hum in the background again reminds me that my ordeal is far from over. There’s no telling when this storm will blow over and I may as well have to eat freezing food for a week – all because I ‘forgot’ to fill the gas! Even judgement day should never be this vindictive!!!
Misery has always been known to need company; I just never knew how much. Now, I find my mind shuttling between my neighbours’ houses. Truth is: the closest company to me had always been my company – my job! Still, right now, nothing would bring me more warmth than hearing my neighbours are holding up fine. Unfortunately, I failed to deserve even that little bit of warmth a long time ago! I try, but it soon becomes obvious: I could never out-yell the rain! The average onlooker would easily have diagnosed me with AGT (Acute Grotesque Technophobia). What he/she may never know is this: crazy as it may sound, I didn’t have any of their phone numbers. I didn’t even know their names. Please don’t judge me; I’m neither a recluse nor a snub. I always meant to get to know them but “maybe next weekend” made sure it never happened.
I just slouch there, hapless beyond words. This is a rainy day alright – but nothing like I had thought it would be. It should have been a day to just sit back and knock back chunk after chunk of fruit-cake; but no! It’s that day when all my inconsistencies come right back to stare me in the face. It’s that day when I’m reminded of how (un)prepared I am for eventuality. It’s that day when the ghosts of procrastination break free, seeking vengeance. A morbid shudder reminds me of the things that really matter and how low I had placed them on my priority scale. At last the fantasy is now over. The rainy day is no longer the glorious future I once dreamt of; it’s now my present, my reality and, unfortunately, my nightmare!
How did I get so carried away with being ‘able to’ that I actually forgot ‘to do’? I could have fixed that inverter lead. I would have filled the gas. I should have cleaned out my house. I could have gotten to know my neighbours. I would have put my job in its rightful place. I should have paid more attention to other areas of my life. None of those tasks would have cost me anything (big). Now, the one question that matters is asked of me: DID I? I had blatantly disrespected and disregarded anything that was not directly related to my job. Now, the “presently unnecessary” had brought me a mighty big present; and, what a day to do so too! Planting season was long over; it’s now time to reap – and my barns are bursting already.
You see, you don’t take out the trash on a rainy day. Whatever garbage the rains trap you in with stays with you till latter’s fury subsides. The rainy day is not the day to eat because you stored up much; it’s the day you stored up to survive!!! It’s that day when no store opens; when you don’t get to refuse what’s on the menu. The rainy day is no holiday; it’s a day of remorse – a day of self-appraisal. It’s that day when you sincerely wish even your worst enemy is safely tucked in. The rainy day is that sporadic reminder that, though a lot may exist beyond our control, it’s imperative that we plan ahead! I have now tasted that bitter pill – first-hand; how long its effects will last is a prognosis I cannot make.
Later, when the rains recede enough, I race straight for the generator and turn it on. Magically, the light it brings seems to banish all the lurking demons one after the other. As I prance to and fro in victory, my plasma screen winks at me rather seductively. I had never turned it down before – but I will this time. Call it fear, but I’m not having any of those creepy faceless demons back in on the loose. It’s time I did what’s right.
My house suddenly feels ten times its actual size, judging by how much work has to be done. If I didn’t know better, I would have sworn it belonged to a pig. I turn on some music to ease my chores, and then I get to them. Hours later, I’m done and above all else, grateful to be alive. It would have been a real shame if someone else cleaned out my house, had I died before today. It’s now pretty late – time only enough for a proper meal and an intense bath before I sleep.
I’ve truly learnt my lesson; while not everything that is urgent is important, some things should NEVER be made to wait. Obviously, I had held on to my job too firmly and cared way too little for life. It’s time to feel alive again. So, dear self, the day’s over now and you have to sleep – but if your eyes should open tomorrow, I promise you’ll live through it. I promise to give my time to things that are truly important. I promise to take a moment to say hello to my neighbours before speeding off to work. Please do not take offense that it has to be “tomorrow”; good sleep always helps my presentation!!!