Tuesday, August 15, 2006

wash my face clean

Last night just after I'd gone to bed there was a heavy downpour. A proper one, which lasted for a good ten minutes before easing off and then getting heavier again.

I wrapped myself in my duvet and opened the window wide so that I could watch it and listen to the heavy comforting sound. One of the advantages of sleeping in the back room of my house is that I can sit on the bed and look out of the window. It pleases me enormously.

I'm not sure when heavy rain became a source of comfort, something worth sitting up in bed for, something worth standing in. I can only guess that I associate it with moving to Devon when I was a child. I remember it raining incessantly, the raindrops running down the windows animating the warehouse opposite our tiny dark house, and the squeaking of the windcreeen wipers accompanying every car journey into the insatiable wet. Or perhaps it was ten years later, sitting in Rosie's kitchen listening to David Bowie; drinking her mum's PG tips and Earl Grey blend and drawing pictures of my mug in my sketchbook while the rain poured and poured over the view of the fields from her table. I remember that when I moved to London it was endlessly dry and cold, and that this seemed somehow wrong.

Yesterday, in the orange half-night which is the best that London can do, I leant uncomfortably on the windowsill and looked out at the sky. I watched the drops run down the windowpane and drip into the passage below, listened to the irregular beat of the raindrops falling on the ground, and luxuriated in the fact that I am free and able to do silly things like lean out of the window at midnight and be comforted by the sound of the rain.