Sunshine and Rain

September 4, 2012 at 10:41 am (Sweet sticky things)

Fifteen years ago today, I reclaimed my life from alcohol. While I haven’t always been a saint, it was the tipping point where I knew I couldn’t keep doing what I was doing and live. So I quit, mostly. It’s now been a year and a half, and I am in a good place. Don’t want it. Don’t need it. Most importantly? I don’t miss it.

It’s a special day for another reason. It’s Rain’s birthday. She turns fuh-fuh-ffff-th-th-th-something, though she looks thirtyish. I find myself staring and marveling at how beautiful she is, and how lucky I am.

Recently at work there was a dust-up between Grinder and Rain. He’d mistaken her for a street thief and tried to 86 her.

Oh no you di-unt!

The second time she called me in tears, asking “What did I do? What did I do?” I knew what had to be done. I called Master P and made an appointment for a sit-down. In his office, he apologized to her through me, and told me IN FRONT OF GRINDER that she was most welcome in our stores. He took it okay, but I could see unrest beneath the surface. I’ll be watching my back for the next month or two.

Last week the Symphony performed the 1812 Overture in Waterfront Park. As the bus crossed the bridge I saw the National Guard setting up Howitzers for the grand finale. I texted Rain, “They’re setting up cannons in Waterfront Park. Guess the city is taking no shit from the homeless tonight.” Then I forgot about it.

I was giving night lunches to the crew, and had just finished giving Bart her lunch when the cannons started booming. Rain had come down to walk between stores with me, and began freaking out. “What is that? What is that?

“I told ya the cops were using cannons to run the homeless out of the park…”

“Oh shit! I’ve got to see that!” She took off in a full trot toward the park.

“Cops using cannons in the park!” she yelled to a brutha standing on the corner. He watched her run, then looked quizzically at my meandering gait. I grinned, and soon caught up to Rain at the edge of the park.

“Where are they?” She looked right and left. I could just see the tippy-top of the fireworks; perhaps the tiniest display I’d seen at Waterfront. I pointed over to the fireworks, and explained the whole symphony thing to her.

“You mean- With my asthma you let me run a block and a half and you didn’t say nothing? Why I oughta…” She went on like that for about six blocks. She explained in dramatic fashion to the brutha what I’d done; he telepathed a high-five with his grin. We stopped by the front of the Cannabis Cafe, she told them with a smile what a rat bastard I was.

“You just wait, Redman. You gonna come over, thinkin’ you’re gonna be getting’ some primo lovin’, and there’s gonna be twenty homeless people in the living room. I mean, they gotta go somewhere…”

She’d do it, too. And probably borrow money from me to buy them beer, to boot.

I haven’t heard from her yet today. I have a special birthday card prepared, and have promised a belated birthday date, since I am working. Will she surprise me with a pre-work tumble? Will I get an offer I can’t refuse for lunch?

No, I’ll probably have strawberry shortcake with twenty homeless people in her living room.

Happy birthday Rain! I love you.

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