It will be around 6pm and you’ll be at work. You’ll convince yourself that it’s not going to rain and, even if it does, that it can’t happen before you get home.
It will be 6pm you will want to walk because walking is fun – and the rain is far.
It will be 7pm, it has begun to drizzle. Around your feet little puddles have began to form. As you criss cross through the traffic find small things to fascinate you. Sing to yourself, sometimes in a small voice, sometimes in a large one. Sing cheesy songs, feel the rain on your skin – no one else can feel it for you – only you can let it in.
Count the distance between thunder and lightning. What was the formula 3 seconds, 5 seconds? Think about googling the formula – remember it’s raining. Start making puzzles in your mind to figure it out, think about whether you are walking into the storm or walking out of the storm. Realise that you are getting wetter – you’re probably walking into the storm. Laugh at yourself for being silly.
Remind yourself at every step that it’s okay.
Walk on the edge of the pavement to avoid stepping in a puddle of water, as if there are different forms of wet. Stumble, almost fall – don’t fall. Imagine the world as you audience and the pavement as a tightrope, don’t fall. Stumble, almost fall, don’t fall – make it.
Keep walking, encourage the people you meet on the way. A firm grunt will work, a firm grunt might not work. At least you tried.
Check the wet level – still pretty wet.
Cross the road, cross back. Cross the road again.
Remind yourself why you are walking in the rain – find the reason silly, look for further reason. Imagine yourself as unstoppable, tell you the things that you need to hear.
Pass by people who have umbrellas – notice they are as wet as you. Congratulate yourself for not having an umbrella as if it was a premeditated thought.
It’s still sucky, but that’s fine.
You are more wet than you are dry now, and the rain has increased to a steady fall. Go through a period of self hate. Begin the lecture in your head.
Start it again.
The tussle is unproductive.
Begin to calculate the half-life of the journey. Estimate it in minutes, then in kilometres, then in songs. Eventually you will find yourself measuring things in crickets per burn-hole squared. You don’t even know what that means but it’s okay, no one does, and you need to pass the time.
Notice that cars are stuck in traffic – congratulate yourself for being unable to buy a car. You always knew walking would get you home faster (you never knew walking would get you home faster, You really just want to be dry)
10 minutes left
It gets harder, the fatigue has began to set in. The strain on your calves is probably more than you would normally settle for, the rain has fallen into your mouth so often it feels like you are swimming. Your jacket has absorbed so much water it has become another weight and you honestly just want to sit down and cry.
5 minutes left.
At this point life is probably crap. Nothing makes sense, but that’s okay because nothing ever makes sense. Keep walking. Johnny walked, so should you. Johnny, there is some at home. Feel the warmth of a stiff drink go down your throat, warming you in a welcoming violence.
You are in familiar territory now, you should buy food from the shop – but that involves stopping, and stopping is not a good idea. The thought of whiskey led to hot shower fantasies and every step you take adds an element to the meal that you want to prepare. In your head, you are home.
In your heart you’re home.
Open the gate.