I've written before about my history with thunderstorms, how the pounding raindrops and crashing thunder are something of a lullaby. I haven't written before that the first time i made out with a boy was in a thunderstorm, when the power went out and we were left in total darkness. I also haven't written that on days like this, my mother used to love to make a big pot of tea and put on an old movie, something with Jimmy Stewart or one of the Hepburns. We're a distant cousin of Katharine, you know.
I still like to put on something black-and-white when it rains, though these days my tea likely as not has a shot of whiskey in it. To ward off the flu, of course. I like to put on slubby old clothes and snuggle with John and watch the old stories over again. There's nothing like Cary Grant on a rainy day. There's nothing like Cary Grant any day. Maybe George Clooney.
It looks like it may rain all day today, and i'm stuck at work. I'll be sneaking peeks of Sandman, of course; i recently got the fourth and fifth volumes and have ordered the sixth and seventh. I'll work hard: emails, voicemails, transcripts, and letters. Two of our office assistants are on vacation, so i'm handling their workloads. Maybe at lunch i'll watch an episode of Mad Men, the next best thing to a black-and-white film. After work, i'll put on slubby old clothes and wash a load of laundry and drink some tea. My black and white cat will nap on my bed while Breakfast at Tiffany's or Philadelphia Story plays in the background. I might even take a nap today.
I wish i had a porch with a swing and a grandmother on it. I wish i could call out "rainy day" from work, but they don't have a code for that in the accrued hours. Days like this will be so much fun for teaching.
Days like this almost make me wish i was fifteen again (except that no one in their right minds would ever want to go back to that age). I want to have no responsibilities, to be able to wear pajamas all day and spend the morning in bed with a stack of novels. I want to eat two bowls of cereal for breakfast and spend the afternoon snacking on fruit that someone else paid for while Audrey Hepburn wafts across the screen in some glamorous, tiny gown. I want my biggest annoyance to be that my cat has fallen asleep half on my arm and half on my open book.
But when i was fifteen, i didn't have a cat. I didn't even know about Sandman then. And most of the movies in the house belonged to my parents. I would have been watching in the living room, in the midst of a swirl of chaos, instead of in my cozy, still room.
Growing up isn't really moving forward. It's more like moving sideways, or at least diagonally. Some things are better, some things are worse. Mostly, things are just different. We trade some responsibilities for others. We trade some freedoms for others. When i was fifteen, i didn't have to pay bills, but i couldn't put whiskey in my tea.