#2: Rain

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I took a walk in the rain.

I’ve always liked rain, and grey, overcast, sunless days.

This is ironic but perhaps not really all that surprising. I learned in the past year that part of the reason I suffer from an inexplicable weakness, coupled with my anxiety and depression, is due to a Vitamin D deficiency. I also have low testosterone that I have to have a shot monthly to compensate for. By way of inclusion, I also deal with various other physical and mental maladies: obsessive compulsive disorder, acid reflux to a ridiculous degree that makes breathing difficult without taking medicine for it, and a little lactose intolerance for good measure.

I begin my day with a handful of pills and supplements. Not what I expected at twenty-four, but it could be worse. One pill is to give my brain the chemical it needs to keep me happy so that I won’t suffer from unbearable anxiety when I step foot outside my door, and another is to keep me calm and prevent me from making the chemical that triggers the anxiety. At least I think that’s how it works. A third pill is for my acid reflux, and then three pills are supplements of Vitamin D, along with a Vitamin C supplement thrown in just because it happened to be there when I began this ritual. I feel instantly more positive and productive after taking all these things, though since none of these substances are particularly fast-acting, I know it’s a placebo affect. Still, it works.

I have this very specific memory of getting off the bus and walking home after school when I was in middle school, and it was grey and wet and maybe there were a few raindrops falling. At the time, I was devising a fantasy television series in my head called Elementals, which was a very basic premise that borrowed in equal parts from Digimon and Final Fantasy, in which five young men (one of whom happened to be me) were pulled into another world and were given power over the elements. The fifth member (again, me) had “rainbow” elemental powers, giving him access to all four other elements, and I swear that I either didn’t know that there was a gay connotation to that at the time, or I did and did this subconsciously. At any rate, it was on this day that the thought suddenly occurred to me that rainy days made me feel safe. I was sullen that day, as I generally tend to be but especially was during middle and high school, and I guess I felt special because I enjoyed something other people seem to hate so much.

This proclivity for enjoying rain has continued into adulthood, and while it would be completely within my personality to hold onto this love or the dreary and overcast just to be different, I really do enjoy it. When I see a grey sky in the morning I breathe a tiny sigh of relief, and later on when the cloud bursts and rain starts falling with intensity, I smile and feel my chest soar. I don’t really understand it. Maybe having a Vitamin D deficiency actually causes you to have some kind of a positive reaction to the lack of sunlight? I doubt it, particularly since I’ve started to consider the idea recently that since I tend to feel good in the morning when I’m taking all my supplements, and tend to become weepy, lonely and beyond consolation at night. The fact that I’m still healing from an upsetting breakup doesn’t bother me that much in the morning (or afternoon) when I get out of bed, but by nightfall it’s starting to creep in and then hits me in the chest over and over again, and I end up crying on the floor, or curled up in the corner of my bed whispering to an imaginary lover who isn’t there and pretending he’s holding me, kissing me, soothing the pain away.

As far as positivity goes, I made the decision recently that I want to be healthier, and a part of that is losing weight. I’ve told myself that I want to lose weight many times in my life, as I’ve pretty much been a chubby kid ever since I was twelve, but I want to become more healthy altogether. I’d like to finally become a vegetarian, an idea I’ve toyed with for a long time, and I want to exercise on a daily basis, and get a nice body, and not be embarrassed to take my clothes off, because believe me, if I had a nice body, my clothes would probably be off the majority of the time. I’m a total exhibitionist, but I also happen to have stretch mark and an upsetting extra chin that likes to show up at bad times (and which looks worse when I haven’t shaved), and man boobs and fat rolls and those lovely things. A lot of people seem to have pride about being overweight, which I don’t think is a healthy attitude to take when looking for a countermeasure against the body-shaming people go through all the time. I see pictures of people who are unhealthy and obese who are saying how proud they are of their body’s and how beautiful they are, but I’ve never really understood that. There’s a line between being perfectly healthy and having some extra weight and being obese to an unhealthy degree. Taking pride in being obese is just as harmful as taking pride in being underweight. At any rate, I’m not happy with the way I look, I’m not happy with being overweight, and I’m not happy with having trouble breathing and sweating when I stand on my feet for two hours or more, and having no stamina, and generally just not looking or feeling the way I want to.

So I want to be healthier. To that end I’ve started taking walks. Not a huge step forward, I know, but the walk to the end of my neighborhood and back is one mile, so it’s at least good enough cardio to get my heart working. It was an overcast day and I made it to nearly the end of the road and turned around. The rain started. It was a drizzle that quickly became something less than a downpour but still a good shower. I walked in shorts, shoes with no socks, and a t-shirt that became plastered to my body by the rain. My hair dripped and the water leaked down my face and my arms, cars passed me, and I walked along the dirt road. I didn’t mind the rain, but I had just gotten over some kind of sickness that was probably a sinus infection and I didn’t want to go tempting fate. I don’t handle fevers or being sick very well, but it inevitably seems to happen at least once a year.

When I got home I pulled off my wet clothes and stood in my room naked. I like being naked. I like being wet and naked even more. I used to find myself getting incredibly aroused when I went swimming, especially when I was changing out of my swimming trunks afterward, and when, through some stroke of fate I ended up living in a house with a swimming pool and sharing a room with my best friend when I was fifteen (who I also happened to be completely in love with), I found the prospect of us taking our swimming trunks off together very exciting. For the most part he didn’t disappoint, I did usually get a peek at his goods (a completely hairy and unshaven scrotum that wasn’t surprising for a fifteen year old who didn’t have much concept of hygiene and a penis that wasn’t quite as big as mine but was still aesthetically appealing in it’s symmetry and length, and frankly any penis would have appealed to my horny, virgin eyes anyway). Anyway there I was, naked, and sitting on the floor in front of a space heater to dry off.

I spend most of my days alone. That’s why I like coming here to this cafe. Usually I find someone interesting to talk to. Whenever I have a good experience, though, like being surrounded by nice people, making a new friend, or having a good time, I have this reaction of becoming incredibly depressed later on in the evening, sometimes while the people are still around, and sometimes while I’m alone. This isn’t an affectation but a genuine response to social interaction that I only recently came to notice, but it’s been this way since I was a teenager. I’ve always spent most of my time alone. I was (for all practical purposes) an only child, I had little to no friends as a child, and my first real friend was the aforementioned one who I met when I was fifteen and promptly fell completely in love with (nothing ever happened between us during the course of our friendship, though he did end up being my first sexual experience years later after we’d ended our friendship, but that’s another story entirely). I’m used to being alone, though by no means do I enjoy it. In fact I’ve had enough of it, and I want to be surrounded by people, particularly friendly people, and particularly some of whom I can have sex with, as much as possible, though I guess I can’t deny that I enjoy having some time to myself to play video games while listening to interviews, audiobooks, music, or television.

But as I walked along in the rain, something just felt natural. Being surrounded by a phenomenon as strange as rainfall (which is completely natural and a normal occurrence, but really, it does seem strange that water falls from the sky every now and then in torrents) seemed to make me feel comforted, and rain makes me feel safe, held, taken care of. I don’t know if it’s the sound of the relentless shower hitting the ground and the rooftops and the trees and the leaves and grass, or if it’s the absolute strangeness of a substance permeating the air, no spot safe from the downpour, that seems to bring some kind of natural order to everything. Maybe it’s way people clamor to get away from it, and how comfortable I am standing in the midst of the pouring water. Maybe it gives me some affirmation. Maybe it makes me feel like my difference has a place, in the rainfall, somewhere in nature. This strange natural phenomenon that appears completely unnatural seems to be at peace with my spirit, which is in it’s own way completely natural but seemingly the opposite. The rain gives me peace.



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