Love Reign O’Er Me by Michael Webb
- I looked out the window at the rain. I liked rain, actually-it is a silent signal from the universe-you may have planned to play ball, or drive to Denver, or walk the dog-but I’m going to do this to you. Deal with it. It makes people adjust. It feels like all I do is adjust to other people, so when I watch other people have to change, it makes me smile a little bit. Petty of me, I know.
- The laptop was on my mattress, my paper pulled up and waiting for my attention. It needed rearranging, cross referencing, and hours of rewriting-but when I heard the rain start to murmur against my wall, I immediately opened the window to stare at it for a while. The room started to get cold, and I was tired. Tired of working for other people, scheduling for other people, putting my needs aside so that they can have their way. Again.
- The radio was on the classic rock station, and I heard the tinkling piano and faint sound of dripping rainwater at the very beginning of “Love, Reign O’Er Me”. I always wondered whether this song would have been programmed to play since this morning, or if some clever DJ snuck it on there when he heard the rain pelting his own window. I knew which one it probably was, and which one I wanted it to be.
- I had to admit, as stuck as I was, watching the rain and not doing my work, I was thinking of her, too. She was being rained on, too, at work, maybe, or at home, feuding with her sister, perhaps. She insisted I couldn’t love her, and all sorts of reasons laid out why it was impossible. If she had one of those big pads of cream colored paper, she would probably lay them out for me, in Sharpie, made into an outline. I knew what they were-we had been over them, together and separately.
- It was romantic, dashing even, to declare that I didn’t care about them, that I wanted her beside me on this tiny mattress, complaining about being cold from the wind and needling me about getting back to my work. She’d tell me that someone needed to be the responsible one and get their degree. And she’d be right.
- But I had to wait her out, sit here and stare at the rain and wait for her to understand that I wasn’t going to run away or give up or bail out or skip out on her, that I was going to stick and keep sticking. That even though my writing was going nowhere, teaching guitar earned a pittance, and my degree seemed to recede away from me at light speed, I couldn’t breathe well when she wasn’t in the room. I couldn’t force her, or trick her, or make her come to the conclusion before she was good and ready. I loved and hated that.
- I stared at the rain, and wished for the time to go by faster.