“I see them in my dreams. Not their faces. There are no faces. Just the masks. A sign of the sickness. And I am very ill. I don't remember when it started. Maybe it never started. Maybe they were always there. Waiting just for me, to remind me that I am sick. That I must find a cure. But I haven't found one, even after years of looking. They are growing impatient with me. And I know the consequences. They work on me as they have so many others. The want to find a cure. The cure for the sickness. They have only ever found one, but they haven't given up. So it is either them or me. Either I cure them and myself or they will show me their cure. I've seen the bodies.”
It rained today. The worst rain I've seen in a long time. Last time I saw a rain like that was on the old farm. Hated that place. Made me see things. It rained today. In sheets. Was lucky. Could have been worse. Worse drivers. Worse roads. Had the wipers on full but still could barely see anything. There was something in the rain. Rain was too thick to make out. When I was younger I remember a story I heard. About a girl left at home during a storm. Story was called “Rain Thing.”
Was returning the doctor. Said he was seeing steady progress. I'm opening up. Doctor has no idea what he is talking about sometimes. We all hold back a little. Forget a little. It's for the best. Mind wants to protect us. I remember the farm. I remember the horses. Haven't thought of them in a long time. There was a old mutt on the farm. Smelled funny. Looked funny. Seemed to be happy about everything. Hated the thing. Wouldn't leave me alone. Should have left me alone.
Driver in front of me turned on his hazard lights. Slowed nearly to a stop. Deep puddle forming on the side of the road, rushing up the side of his car. Saw something in the rain. Thought about the farm again. The day it rained. It rained too much. Was back in the present. The thing in the rain walking along the side of the road, wind wiping something wet hanging off of it. Was dark. Like seaweed. Or ferns. Was seeing things. Seeing things wrong. All the therapy. Thought of the story again. Rain thing.
I thought of the dog...he was big and kind. Wanted nothing else but to be pet and rubbed. But I was a kid. And it smelled funny. It looked strange. So I didn't like it. It had one eye. Something had happened to the other one. And he always seemed to roll in something. My cousins didn't seem to mind it, but I hated it when I would leave the house and the thing would rub against me, asking to be pet. I acted nice. One time I yelled and it and my parents made me pay for it.
Looking back I miss that dog.
A lot of the time. We look back at what we did and regret. The time we didn't spend. The things that we let bother us that we probably could have let go. I have tried so hard to try and do right now. Embrace those who matter. Make sure they know. But I will never forget the dog. We never forget any of it that we did wrong. The day it died. Was torn up. Didn't understand why at the time. Now I know I was upset at how I treated it. I had ignored it. Fought. Could have been better.
Rain reminds me of Sarah...I fought with her too. Drank too much. Drank too much the night she was attacked. Had I been sober I would have been home. Maybe done something. Fought that night. Fought a few days before that. Small things. Things it wouldn't have taken much to fix. Then I found her in the entrance way. Carved up. Bone on her face exposed. She was crying. Trying to cry. Hard to do without eyelids.
The car in front of me moved again. Maybe to make some progress then stopped again. Decided to go around him. I looked in the car as I passed. Driver didn't look right. I was wrong. He looked like a tangle of plant matter, of seaweed and ferns, eyes clear and blue like pinpoints watching me as I went around. Was raining. Didn't see things the way they were.
I moved down the road slowly. Kept thinking about the dog. Kept thinking about Sarah. Rain reminds me of the rain on his fur when he died. Way it parted and gripped my fingers as I rubbed it. All he wanted was to be pet. He smelled like a wet dog. He didn't smell strange. So I pet him. Pet him till my parents took him away. He looked alright in the end. He was always alright. I hadn't seen that. Think of the mutt. Think of Sarah.
Rained when she died.
Things in the rain.
Losing something doesn't get easier. You can't lose the same thing twice, so every time it is fresh. Rained both times. Strange way that. Life repeating just for effect. To let me know I made a mistake twice. That it was going to always hurt. I was always going to feel guilty until I did it right.
The rain finally stopped. I made it home. Margaret was there. I took her to dinner. Told her what happened. We don't talk like we used to. That's okay. Things can be different. She looks strange. Her new skin smells strange. I love her. She is precious. I won't mess up.
The dog in the rain.
The things in the rain.
I shouldn't have done what I did.