Suburban Soliloquy #93






The long and tedious Summer is over. It is Autumn, the season I prefer. The bright sunlight, the searing colors that hurt my eyes and the contrasting shadows, discouragingly dark, have given way to the subtle hints of colors against grey skies or muted by fog. The foliage crafts a quilted blanket across the landscape and it is raining. Rain is my favorite weather.

When I was younger and there was time, I used to go for long walks in the rain. My wardrobe gave evidence of this preference. There was always a raincoat at the ready, a choice of several fedoras, and shoes or boots of leather that had been waterproofed.

My first wife, Matsui-san, remembered the green trench coat at the beginning of our relationship. When we separated, as a parting gift she hit me over the head on a sidewalk in Greenwich Village with a box from Barney's. It was a new trench coat, a beautiful Burberry with a subtle green hue. In the Spring of 1983, I wore it to Japan, visiting Matsui-san and bringing the divorce papers for her to sign. It rained nearly the entire time I was there, which was good for me. I went about the streets and temples of Tokyo and rarely met with crowds.

I am partial to long drives in the rain. While motorcycles and rain-suits are a thing of my past, today my choice in cars reflects my passion for the rain just as do certain items in my closet. The cars I've bought are those with front-wheel drive, for which I select good rain tires. To go into a storm, to meander along the narrow roads of Bucks County overhung with limbs, to witness the mad dance of branches, of leaves, all without departing the comfort of my car, particularly at night, must be something like the thrill scientists enjoy when they explore the ocean depths in their submersibles. There is a particular fond memory for Ms Keogh, my present and last wife, and myself, when we parked on a hillside at Tyler State Park in our '87 Acura Legend sedan. We climbed into the back seats and snuggled while watching the panorama of a storm's advance across the valley until it eventually engulfed the car.

We once drove that wonderful car through floodwaters, thinking we were safe because the water only came up to our bumper, but the current was so strong, it climbed over the hood and rushed against the windshield. Water came pouring through the air vents into the cabin, yet we got through and laughed with relief and admiration for the car.

It is not necessary for me to walk or drive through rain in order to appreciate it. My spirit is mollified merely by listening to the tattooing of rain on the roof, on leaves, on the brick patio leading to our front door. It is a sound that engenders a pensive mood, a state of mind I enjoy cultivating. I take a measure of delight in contemplation over coffee, from a place where I can watch the rain through a window or from beneath an awning. It is very soothing having the window opened to hear the soporific rain and allow it to lull me to sleep as when I might lay naked on clean sheets in the afternoon – but that was in Summer. Even during these colder days of Autumn, when it rains, Ms Keogh will open the window a crack to let in the sound of the rain, and we listen while we snuggle beneath the blanket.

This essay is the most recent in a series of regular reports from the life and times of Mr Bentzman. If you've any comments or suggestions, the writer would be pleased to hear from you.
Mr Bentzman's collection of poems, "Atheist Grace" is available from Amazon, as are "The Short Stories of B.H.Bentzman"