This was the winter we had been waiting for in California. There’s no denying it anymore, the rainstorms that swept through our state have been absolutely devastating and, have left no region undrenched. After years of drought, the skies have finally and seemingly permanently opened.
Here in Normal Heights, the hip soulful center of San Diego, it feels like it’s been raining nonstop since Christmas. The puddles that collected on streetsides riding up the curb and overflowing into grass and warped sidewalks are the same ones I remember jumping over on New years Eve.
Walking around at night has become difficult. The lights on 32nd street dimly glow on the oil-black concrete paths. Each step into the black, is a risk; at any point ones’ foot might encounter the broken edge of a root-carved curb-crack, and plunge awkwardly into the dank slick. It’s happened to most everyone.
Such a void exists just beyond my fence. Many of victim has it claimed since settling itself deeply into the old concrete crevices. Sitting upon the porch, I spy a young couple approaching the walkway outside my gate. With no light to guide their once gay footsteps, a pallor settles upon their gait. Unsure how now to proceed, they halt directly before me, and stare down into the black void – just two feet in front of them, eyes aching to discern a glint or glimmer of the wet enemy they so desperately wish to avoid.
I study them through a haze of warm orangey smoke and that rises steadily from my Camel Menthol Silver. The monster is indeed before them, I think to say, but don’t say. Between thought and action is hesitation and deferred judgment. What good is a warning when a lesson keeps longer, who am I to teach? To inform? To invade upon the couples’ travails without being asked? Inject myself into their dilemma? No. I think.
The couple ponders then meekly feels out their forward. The dank deep acts at once…
Now whole limbs….!
Furious shrieks of disgust and pain erupt from the young couples lips!!
Is a lesson learned through noisy racket the ironical plan devised by the quietude of a puddle outside my gate?
Yes, we Normal Heights denizens know wet when we walk.