February 14, 2012 § Leave a Comment
By Alex Karsten
____Madhu, this heavy rain is like our relationship: always moving but apparently static. Peter and I are dripping under an overhang, waiting for the storm to settle down. We are halfway to the dining hall to eat a midnight snack, and I am halfway to the dining hall lobby to say goodbye to you for three months. Peter and I are discussing the rain.
____“Your pathetic fallacy would be much less clichéd,” he says.
____“No, man, this is perfect. If she was leaving me for good, or if I was about to be broken-up-with unawares, there would be a much better pathetic fallacy.”
____“Or even less subtle. But this is fine for this.”
____I decide not to text you, to hear your voice for free before the international charges kick in.
____“Peter and I got caught in the rain. I’m sorry. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
____“Long day for you. Lots of walking.”
____“Lots of goodbyes.”
____“It looks like it’s letting up. I’ll be there soon. Love you. Bye. Love you.”
____The gutters take a while to catch up to the stop of the rain. Peter and I walk between the streams being whisked down the walkway. The stadium’s lit jumbotrons make the sky almost day blue. Maybe they would be showing a picture of us, or a picture of you with someone else.
____I almost miss you, looking through the Starbucks. You are sitting on the bench, right there, taking your headphones out as we see each other. I have already taken off the toboggan with the beard knit on; this was not the time.
____Peter has already gone in, and we are trying not to make a scene in the lobby, but we feel like we deserve it. When we finish hugging, we kiss.
“I think that elevator goes down to the parking garage.”
____The elevator opens and immediately I regret pointing it out. You are so tired, so we hurry over to the elevator. It is closing, but the girls in it try and catch it for you, and they do, but we cannot figure out the best way to say goodbye because this is actually goodbye for three months, and the doors start to close again, but the girls start to catch it and you just go in, and I don’t have time to really kiss you like in Casablanca, which we watched together and you liked it even though it was a little slow, and then it closes and you are putting your headphones back in. We make air kisses at each other as the door closes.
____I put the beard hat back on. I feel myself starting to frown under the beard, but then I find Peter, who has found some mutual friends. It is not walking in the rain that sucks so much as walking indoors with wet shoes. I take my shoes off when I get to the table. I text you to text me when you get home safe. They will dry.