This morning, I got off the subway train and headed towards the exit. As I approached it, I noticed that there was some kind of line. People were lined up at the exit. I figured it was the rain. Right I was: people were craning their necks to see outside from within the exit platform. I mused to myself why it was that people thought they would melt in the rain. As much as I’m a fan of the rain, I could understand that people wouldn’t want to get wet. But really, to see a line of folks trying to wait out the rain or make a call to a cab company, it felt sort of pathetic. I wondered what these people would do in a time of crisis and concluded that I wouldn’t want them on my team. Craning my own neck to see just how heavy the rain was falling, I decided that it wasn’t a big deal. While I buttoned up, I thought to myself that this was an excellent excuse to flip my collar up, a terribly cheesy dramatic look that I enjoy rather thoroughly.
Up went my collar, and up the stairs I went. It wasn’t as bad as I thought: the rain wasn’t heavy enough to lead to a soaked undershirt or anything. I bundled up and headed straight to a bright orange newspaper vending box: inside contained issues of Metro. I had no intention of reading the drivel. I just happened to need something to prevent my expensive laptop from getting wet. I stuffed the newspaper into my bag, forming a makeshift guard against the falling rain. And away I went. I trudged happily through the rain, bag in tow, thinking about how well my slicked back hair would hold up to the rain. It was a gray rain this morning. Some days it’s an olive rain, others are mustard. But today was just gray, an understated rain that brought with it all the delightful smells that come with the falling of raindrops. As a pedestrian traffic light blinked its way down to a steady orange open palmed hand, a girl next to me said aloud a familiar sounding address, urging towards her an unseen figure behind me. It was my own destination: my college. Her dark hair and nose reminded me of Robin from How I Met Your Mother, though she was thoroughly shorter and less slender than she was. She was talking to some guy with her. The fellow looked meek in his rounded shoulders and slouching posture. His thick rimmed glasses and face full of stubble told me he was some kind of hipster, except that he wasn’t all that hip. I pegged him as a liberal by way of lack of balls.
I turned to the girl and asked her if she attended my college. She replied mistakenly that that was her destination. I didn’t figure that she was a student, as the three weeks had passed in the semester already. She turns to the weak fellow and tells him that we all share the same destination. I inquire as to what she was doing there, and it turns out that there was some guest speaker discussing the topic of corrections. She was rather enthusiastic about it. We had one of those meaningless exchanges between strangers, an inconvenient necessity of walking the same path to the same destination. In our brief encounter, I wasn’t surprised to learn that the fellow was from Brooklyn (I silently accused him of being from Williamsburg) and going to grad school at The New School (which I had never heard of until he spoke of it). It did surprise me that the girl was from Canada though. I almost smirked when the image of Robin Sparkles popped into my mind. It was at that moment that I decided that all women from Canada had dark hair and a fair complexion. And it was at that moment that I decided that perhaps I would move to Canada to meet women with dark hair and a fair complexion.
The Robin look-alike started increasing her pace, accelerating past her male companion and myself. The Bohemian fellow lagged behind though, and we exchanged a few more pleasantries. Alas, our banal interaction was cut short by the girl. Whether she was tired of my company or she was genuinely late to the event, she returned to grab her companion, who apologized to me about their sudden departure, offering that they were tardy as it was. I bade them farewell with a smile and a wave, knowing that they weren’t going to get anywhere any faster than they would want. Even with my calm and unhurried pace of movement, I kept up with the two of them, fifty feet behind them. I knew the traffic lights would slow their expedition to the point where I would catch up with them, and I was proven right in the next minute. I chose to grace them with the lack of my presence and slowed my pace so that I would not rejoin them.
I ended up parting ways with the anonymous couple as my classes were in a different building. As I crossed the street a pretty young woman in a burgundy hooded sweatshirt walked with me, clearly lost and disoriented. She looked like she was a student, and I remembered my own navigational instincts. It’s never hard to find the way towards a school: just follow everyone else. And ten steps later she did, albeit with a couple of stop and halts. I went my merry way to class, stopping by the bathroom for reasons more of vanity than function. Finally sitting down in my classroom, I took a deep breath and sighed. I love rainy days.