It’s an unusual sound in the deserts of Southern California—in fact, it’s an unusual word to utter within the deserts of Southern California, unless the speaker is bemoaning a lack of the wet stuff. But unusual though rain is, tonight it is happening here in Palm Springs. I’ve actually turned the heat off so I can better hear the rain falling down upon the Nunnery. Chances are, with this monster El Nino year upon us, this won’t be the only time I’ll get to listen to it. But after almost ten years of living in Purgatory Southern California, I’ve learned not to take the experience of rain for granted.
I’ve always loved rain. I’ve loved the melacholic associations with it, even though it’s never made me melancholy. Even now, as I am sitting on a couch that isn’t mine in a home that really isn’t mine, while my soon-to-be-ex-husband frolics the night away with his girlfriend or perhaps his adoring crowd of minions, even now, as I am alone with only two knuckle-headed cats for company, even now, on this chilly wet January night as I struggle to find the right words to encapsulate my mood and mind, I don’t feel melancholy. I only feel lucky to sit here, quietly, listening to the rain without the interruption or distraction of another person (or, more specifically, the WRONG person) and listening to my own thoughts as they rattle around in my head.
The thought of living and dying alone bothers me somewhat, but y’see, I had a hell of a lot of experience being alone, early on in life. I got used to my own thoughts, my own company, my own emotions, my own inner landscape. So I’ve been alone before, and I am now, and neither then nor now has my life been threatened by that. In fact, perhaps it’s when I’m alone when my life is most enhanced. It’s certainly when I know myself and my purpose the most.
Or maybe it just further undermines my own suitability as a life partner. Who knows? I’m just playing the hand I’m holding in this particular moment.
And the game I’m playing…well, I guess it’s Solitaire.