The weather reminded Jack of happy times. For some reason, he had always enjoyed chilly rainy days. Despite such days being wet and cold, thoroughly unpleasant to one’s skin, he relished such weather.Perhaps it was how the rain seemed to clear the way for him on city streets. That’s how it seemed to him as he walked the long way to the subway station. It was a long day, and he was glad to not have to share the sidewalks with people walking at breakneck speeds in both directions. He enjoyed plodding his way home, especially in the rain. The air seemed fresher. It made his body feel lively and his mind thoughtful.
Most of the time, his mind would invariably drift towards his boring and meaningless life. He worked the stock room of an electronics retailer. Moving boxes around kept him in relatively good shape despite his poor diet of flat tasteless cheeseburgers and flaccid french fries. He was just happy that he could go home to a tiny little apartment that he shared with two other people and plop into his ratty loveseat for an evening of beer and reality television. It wasn’t much to look forward to, but it kept him going through the day. At least he didn’t have to deal with stupid customers asking stupid questions, and stupid managers forcing him to push those customers into buying stupid things.Sometimes, his mind would wander down a different path, and he would find himself lamenting the lack of love in his life. His roommates both had a significant other. One of them, Thomas, was gay. Jack thought it was a miracle that gays found love at all. The other roommate, Gillian, was always going through a new boyfriend every couple of months. Sometimes Jack wondered if it was better to be with someone and to be happy for a time, breaking up a while later, as if love was supposed to be something to be found and used up and discarded when it ran itself out and became replaced with some sort of hate or indifference.This day though, Jack was reminded of the years before that he had always found himself wishing he had a woman to walk around on rainy days with. He thought it’d be so nice to share this beauty with a woman. On so many rainy days, and some days that weren’t rainy but just chilly, he’d walk home from work, passing a park, wondering about the pretty girl he’d hold in his arms while they appreciated the weather together. Sometimes, she’d be tall and graceful, with beautiful gray eyes that glistened like a jewelinthe sun. At other times, she’d be small and cute, with warm loving brown eyes that his heart would drown in. Most of the time though, he’d just imagine the idea of a woman who he loved, who loved him back.
But those were the years before, years that’d gone by without any prospect of love, only hopes that lingered in his heart. Today he realized that he hadn’t any of those hopes or wishes. Today, he was so utterly filled with satisfaction. He felt complete. Sure, he had a crappy job, and lived in a crappy place. But somehow, as the rain pattered down onto the bill of his baseball cap, as he breathed in the gray October skies, he felt balanced.
Jack tried to figure it out. He thought that maybe it was because he recognized the meaning of being a boyfriend. That would mean he’d have to worry about buying his girlfriend presents for her birthday, for Christmas. Then he’s have to plan out a really romantic evening for Valentine’s Day. And let’s not forget about all the random little niceties he’d have to do for her in between. Then he’d have to be there for her when she was crying, and he didn’t really want to have to do that. Having a girlfriend meant lots of responsibilities, and Jack was quite happy not having any. Besides, he’d be sure that she wouldn’t take very well to his ritualistic lounging around every evening.
Realizing his fortune, he decided to celebrate by buying some pina colada coolers. It was a change from his usual six-pack of Budweisers. As Jack handed over money for the drinks, the clerk took his money without looking at him. He was chatting away with his girlfriend, laughing about something or other. Jack could tell that they were in love from the sweet tones in his voice.
On the last leg of his trip back home, the rain began to clear up and Jack wondered if maybe he was wrong about love. He wondered if maybe there was something in his life that was missing, that there was more to it than pina coladas and television shows. Going up the stairs, he wondered how long it would be before that desire for love and romance would return to him. He couldn’t say with any certainty, and he wasn’t quite sure whether he wanted those feelings anyway. His mind would quite naturally try to find the answer, but luckily he got to his television set before it got carried away. ¶