Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Storm girl

(Picture by Nicholas O'Donnell)

I can't sleep. It's well past my bedtime and I'm buzzing a little bit. Buzzing not being an adjective one uses as a synonym for sleepy.

I went out tonight with a friend, to a pavement pizza restaurant in a suburb that was inundated merely a week ago and chatted a lot for a few hours. I haven't seen him for a few months, but he is one of those friends that you pick up where you left off and the conversation flows easily. It may have been a Wednesday night, but the sidewalk was never empty with endless people watching opportunities as the ominous clouds overhead began to rumble.

I haven't laughed as much as I did tonight for a long time. He commented on it too, that I seemed a bit sparklier today than usual, and it's odd, because I've been a bit tightly wound lately. So we discussed work, because that's what doctors inevitably do when they get together, and I talked a little of what had been stressing me, and he told a lot of the stories he always does, and we relaxed into that comfortable almost sibling like relationship we have. With me being too honest and him putting up with me taking the piss as we ate too much pizza and baklava.

I loved half listening, especially when it was a story I'd already heard before, and watching the people go by. Those dashing through the rain that started to fall, women in scary heels and tiny dresses, bohemian dresses and bare feet. A woman in a corset and severe make up. A woman who may have been born a man. And all the time, as we sat in our cheap plastic chairs I watched the lightning flash and waited for the storm to properly hit.

It came with that pre gust of wind, a cool exhalation before it began pelting down, and we leaned back in our chairs under the awning as the street filled with water and the laughter of those caught in the storm. It smelled so sweet that rain. Proper storm rain that smells different to the heavy, warm, monsoonal rain. Or the grey mist that has pervaded, or the relentless rain of recent weeks. It was rain that made me want to dance in it. That made me not care that it was ruining my (for once) well behaved hair and soaking my shirt.

Then I came home, and I hugged Bingley because I feel infectiously cheerful. Like something is alive in me. Something sparkly. And it's fluttering away in my chest and won't let me sleep.

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