The sky opened up with a fury unleashed from the heavy ball and chain of oven heat and thick humidity. It was like a bunch of frat boys balancing an unlimited supply of beer tubs full of cold water and dumping them, one after another, over the deck and the wet splashing down on unsuspecting bystanders. It was that. With an EDM light show and the deafening boom of Thor’s hammer. And, tragically, without the eye candy of the God of Thunder.
A bunch of people were plastered against the wall of the building underneath a narrow overhang. They must be waiting for the bus. The bus must be delayed. Of course it was, since the “safety surge” is serially shutting down stretches of the subway all summer. The people were mostly wet, some very very wet. But they jostled for dry space as they waited for their mad dash to the H Bus. They held umbrellas and plastic CVS bags against the wet. Almost all of them had at least a small dry patch. They worked to maximize that patch.
There was a man who exuded misery, or he would if anything could come out of him. He was slick with water, his white shirt glued to his back. It wasn’t that he didn’t care. It was that it didn’t matter if he did. His abject look of surrender to the buckets that poured over him was truly miserable. His hair framed his face with a mousy brown fringe. Water drops fell from his sharp nose, from his chin, and his hands were too wet to brush the rain away. They just moved the wet around. He plodded along. He would get on the subway platform and a pool would form around his soggy shoes.
A pair of young women walked on the other side of the street. Their rubber flip flops absorbed nothing. One woman grabbed her companion’s arm to stop her from tumbling into the rushing water as she slipped off her sandal. They both said sorry at the same time. They leaned into each other as they laughed. And they poked each other with their useless umbrellas. “Why are we holding them?” they laughed, again.
The rain ran down from their waists and then splashed up from the sidewalk to soak the hems of their dresses. One wore a skirt that had been flirty before the wet made it hug her legs. The other wore one of those cotton shifts with an overlay of lace. It was heavy now and was causing her legs to chafe.
The one with the chafing pointed to the mojito bar. They shook their umbrellas, squeezed out their dresses, shook their thick manes of curls and stepped out of the rain into the ice box of a bar where they took their spots.