Tears from god. He always thought of that in the heavy downpours. The type where you can feel the stinging weight of the raindrops on your body, the cold water pelting your face. His mother used to call it that, heavenly tears. What was god crying about all the time?
He’d set off into the night just as the first drops had begun to fall. He’d smelt the rain coming, rushing to put on his boots and set out into the village to catch it. He’d grabbed his jacket but didn’t bother with an umbrella. He wanted to feel the water tonight. He wanted to feel something.
The sun had set hours ago and the hazy glow of the streetlights above him blossomed down the road he was taking. Each a branch up out of the dead black road beneath his feet, offering beautiful orbs of light to the angels above him, and who were threatening to leave. He saw how the sheets of the rain splintered across the face of the lights, little streaks through the glow like tiny missiles before disappearing into the void of the nothing.
That nothing welcomed him tonight as he walked. It spoke to him of a new solitude which he was happy to lay his bones within. The night and the rain were pure and wild, base elements that ravaged the world. He’d stepped into them before, drowning once and becoming lost in the darkened forest of his mind.
Tonight he just needed to walk. To smell the fresh air and feel the waters smother his face. The coldness came with the rain tonight also, and he watched his breath escape out into the air like his soul leaking away. He licked his lips, tasting the rain water; feeling the flecks of the divine in those tears shed from above.
The village began to open up into fields at this end, sweeping pastures plunging down the valley where the water would rush and flow like a tide on land, going out in a grassy sea. He heard nothing but the falling rain, but he watched as lonely cars moved slowly off in the distance. Little specs of light, haunting eyes that hovered across the fields where the main road was. What lives did those little tin cars carry? What stories and sadness did the souls within survive. Somewhere tonight he thought, one of those cars will fall victim to strong salty tears. Skidding and colliding somewhere and snuffing out the contents within. Plunging an unfolding tragedy into the lives of those who knew, loved and would now miss those dying embers. Collecting rain water in the crumpled remains of the squashed tin can.
His mind had become saddened as late. His body had struggled to move in the mornings when the alarm would ring in a new day like a gospel chorus. He muscles and bones a defying demon to the angelic blessing of the new dawn. He would lurk in the shadows of life, disconnect from the buzzing beast of the people he knew.
He only stepped out when it rained.
It would wash something away, something out of him. He felt it down on his clothes, the gravity of the water that was pulling down into the DNA as he walked. And he walked through the village, out towards the fields. Watching the clouds and the little lights that blinked in and out like struggling stars.
Then there was his own tired tears, that he could no longer censor. He would cry his own monsoon when he was truly alone. Weeping out to add to the rain until his forehead ached and his throat was sore. He let the ghosts in, and they would pillage his mind. Playing films in his head that he felt were on repeat. Never able to rewind or go back. Never flooded out by the rising waters that surged over everything, all but the things he most wanted most to drown.
He came to the end of the track he’d be walking. The huge brambles and blackberry bushes converged to block the way. Forcing a path would tear at the skin, ripping open the sore and cold meat that had begun to sting in the frigid air and water. So he turned on the spot, pirouetting like a shadowy ballerina in this hidden dark ballet. Watched only by the audience of nature which cowered in the bushes and the trees, watching for him to retreat.
He walked back the way he came, the roads now washing the rain water down the streets and into the gullies and drains. Leaves and litter sped on those miniature streams, washing away the dirt and despair. He wanted to open a vein and let the vermillion river meet these streams. Wash out the leaves and the junk of his heart and wring his organs dry.
Crossing the street he saw into the windows of the Fountain, the village pub which cast cosy a warmth in the sea of blackness. The huge fire was roaring and people stood and chatted around it with drinks in their hands. The windowpanes ran with the raindrops, tiny tears streaking down giving the people within a false sadness. He could not enter there, he could not be like that. The fire and warmth called to him, but he’d been burnt before. Touched by a heat and love that all too soon had smothered and gone out. He could still smell the dying of that hearth, still remembered the splutter and the death until there was nothing but ash.
He hurried on by, the rain not relenting. It still felt good, it still felt like something. Returning to his house, he stood in the driveway, looking up to the bedroom light which had been left on in his haste to depart. The little light behind the glass cast a shaft out into the night, like a lighthouse warning of danger. He took a step forward, and hesitated. Had he turned the light on at all?
He stayed on the spot and let the rain fall around him, off in the distance he heard the slow rumblings thunder. A struggling beast waiting to get up from underneath a mountain. The light in his bedroom switched off as he blinked the water out of his eyes. He dropped the keys he’d been clutching and turned around, heading off back into the night.
Heading off again into the tears from god.