Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Rain

I live in Vancouver and I love the rain.

You have to love the rain if you live in Vancouver, because we get so much of it all year round. I also work and live downtown, which means I don't drive much. I walk everywhere. You really have to love the rain when you walk everywhere.

I hate other people, however. And nothing spoils my love of the rain faster than other people.

You see, when the first drop of rain falls, everone in the streets whips out an umbrella and shields themselves with it (except, of course, the people who are already hiding under umbrellas in anticipation of rain).

Under their umbrellas, everyone suddenly becomes an oblivious, inconsiderate asshole. They have no peripheral vision, and display no concern for people trying to get past them. They ignore the fact that they are walking three abreast, occupying the entire width of the sidewalk, despite similarly oblivious pedestrians walking directly at them. They don't seem to give a damn that by opening their umbrellas they have effectively doubled the area they occupy.

Now, I'm of above average height. At six-two, that puts my eyeline exactly level with the spikes on the edges of most people's umbrellas. I also walk fast. My long legs just don't let me move slowly. I don't go outside unless I have somewhere to go, and when I want to go somewhere I do not take my sweet-ass time. That means when I get stuck behind a clutch of slow moving umbrella-wielders, I want to get by. Immediately.

So I try to sneak past on the left - nope, that person didn't see me and sidestepped left, cutting me off. Those spikes came close enough that I think I left an eyelash stuck to one. So I try the right, but someone walking towards us barges past, almost pushing me out of the way. Am I invisible? What the hell is going on here? Finally, I spot an opening. I surge forward, fake left, and then jog right, putting a parking meter between me and another umbrella-holder. Am I free?

Not a chance. Ahead of me is a sea of umbrellas, metal spikes glistening in the rain. My left eye twitches. And I think (not for the first time, oh no) how wonderful this city would be...if I was the only one in it.

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