Simon "Dutch" Riley



I sit on the stairs with the door open, listen to the storm, and wonder if it's raining where you are.

Here, it hisses steadily, beating relentlessly but at the same time calmly on the pavements and rooftops surrounding me. I love the rain so much, maybe because of the sadness that comes with it-- it's a perfect kind of emotion that rain brings. But lately everything seems to have that touch of sadness, so the rain only makes things worse.

Is it raining where you are? Suddenly the thunder roars, and as a train passes by I can't distinguish one sound from another. It seems it's coming down harder now, but I don't know if that's reality or my senses playing with me. Almost immediately the thunder returns to tell me I'm not imagining it. How much has been in my head? How many problems? For that matter, how much of the good? It's getting blurred to me now, emotions that I actually had and ones that I can barely remember because maybe they were never there. Good times I know for certain, bad times I think were there, thunder mixed with trains.

Is it raining where you are? My eyes dart to movement on my right, as two of my fish chase each other halfheartedly. The life seems drained from them, but then again it seems to have drained from everything since you've been gone. Nothing makes sense, and I could care less about more and more. I've been told that fish have five second memories. They live in a four foot square world, swim in a circle around the same things over and over again, and are constantly surprised. Look, a rock. Look, a rock. Look, a rock. Lucky bastards.

Is it raining where you are? I hope so and I don't. I want the rain to be there with you, for some kind of connection; to make me believe that we're thinking the same things again, experiencing the same emotions. Then I don't want it there, I want peace in your world, I want sunny skies and a soft breeze. Leave the dark and the cold to me. Leave the thunder, the crashing, the slamming to earth with me. I'll take this, I'll get wet. I was made for this, built for it; I've been living it my entire life. And you were meant for gentler things.

Is it raining where you are? It starts to soften now, and I miss it already. In spite of the cold, in spite of the noise, in spite of the wear and the danger it brings, I miss it. It brought emotion, it brought action and events, it brought life to my life. Now what? Nothing happens. Life straightens out and steadies, and the days start to blend. Time picks up speed.

Is it raining where you are? The storm has passed here, moved on to another place. Is it with you now? Is it gone from my world, and still in yours? Has it passed me by and remained with you? Will it ever return to me? Or will the streets dry, will the leaves shake moisture and spread again to the sun, will the world again be as it was before you? Will it always be that way?



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