The Metaphor of Rain

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2040
A&U America's AIDS Magazine

Brave New World
by Corey Saucier

The Metaphor of Rain
Why should a song about Southern California deprive us of re-sets & renewals?

There is this mythos that says that it never rains in Southern California. There are songs written about it, and films that begin with the promise of forever blue skies. The way the story goes, it is said that on the Golden Coast of California no one ever needs an umbrella because the sun always shines. But that is not true. It rains everywhere. The bible says that there will never again be a flood that destroys the face of the Earth. But there will always be rain: Sweet, wet, renewing rain.

I am single again in Los Angeles. I hate being single. You know the kind of guy that is ruggedly handsome and self-assured in his solitude—you know the kind that reads books in the park with his dog, or takes pottery classes to make new friends and says things like: “Love will happen when it happens, and until then I’ll work on myself and enjoy life as it comes.” You know that guy with the five o’clock shadow and the casual swagger, and the warm smile that says: “No pressure, let’s just hang out and see where it goes?” I AM NOT THAT GUY!! I do not do well alone.

They say that water is the element of blessing. It is the mineral of baptism and birth; and whenever the great artists imagine the density of the soul, it is always liquid and malleable; a flowing blue essence that moves both around you and through you. Water is the cool nourishing fluid that washes away the debris of the past and settles to the deep depths of your being. They say that the worst way to die is to drown, and yet, there is nothing more beautiful than the ocean; and nothing as pure as the first purifying rain of spring.

At the end of every relationship, before I begin the hunt for my next husband, I go to the doctor to get my blood work done. This is how I re-set. I get tested for all the basics: chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, et cetera. HIV might be my ongoing permanent companion but I want to keep the list of additional STDs to a minimum. I’m one of those radical unicorn fairies that believe in monogamy (and don’t participate in casual sex): It is how I take personal responsibility for my own sexual health, and it’s an excellent way to know if your partner has been stepping out on you, which I can proudly say has never happened. I would cut a bitch!

While waiting my turn to get poked, I chit chat with the loud, plump black nurse with the pretty hair and the delicious big bosoms. We get along well because she does that thing where she puts her hands on her hips, and smacks her lips, and wags her neck like my mother and my aunts. And since I’ve wanted to be a pretty black girl like the rest of my family for as long as I can remember, I do the same. And as usual, soon we are laughing and snapping our fingers and giving each other the sass. And it’s a party in the blood draw room! And the California sun is shining through the window. But there is a little Mexican boy in the seat next to me, and he is quiet and his eyes are wet and he is skinnier than anyone should be, and he looks like he’s about twenty-two. He is filling out paperwork, and I imagine it’s his first time here. And I wonder if he too is just coming out of a relationship? I wonder if he too is about to go through a re-set? And I wonder if there are 50 million copies of HIV per liter in his blood.

There is a book that says there was a man who could turn water into blood and back to water again. Scientists who calculate the density of stars say that water is life and from thick rich pools of it we evolved. They say that we and the ocean, and the sky, are one. But there is this fantasy that says it doesn’t rain in the streets of downtown L.A. and that storms rarely fall in our famous golden city. But that is not true. It rains everywhere. The sun is wonderful and it sustains us most days….But when the clouds come in, and the boys are gone, and summer is over, there will always be rain: sweet, wet, renewing rain.

Corey Saucier is an artist and writer living in Los Angeles. He is a Lambda Literary Fellow in Fiction and Non-Fiction and is currently penning his first novel. His musings and wanderings on Love, Life, and Nonsense can be found at www.justwords.tumblr.com.