Waiting for Godot

If the rain would stop falling, it would be different. But the rain doesn't stop falling, isn't even falling. It's pages turning, sheet after sheet passing over the Torino, not even drumming because there's no spaces between the drops. It's not percussion, which assumes pauses, but a steady hiss, a snare drum strike extended and not fading, evading the laws of physics, the perfect jazz resolution timeless like heaven. The view through the windshield isn't obscured by rivulets. No globes of water catch and refract the light, fragmenting in the eye. But the water thinly coursing over glass changes things so that the warehouse across the street waves like a reflection without an object, the light in the windows pulled downward by the invisible momentum of the rain. Hutch feels like he's looking at the surface of water instead of through it; the world is a lake, the Torino suspended, gravity on hold, time stopped in the instant before they fall and become turbulence. It may be something like grace.

No one has come or gone from the warehouse. A shadow passed by the window, only once, like systole without diastole, raising an expectation. And so Hutch keeps watching as though things will move forward. The rain has been falling for so long it's bloodrush in Hutch's ears.

It would be different if the rain would stop falling. But the rain doesn't stop falling, won't, it seems, ever, and the light is either, neither, dawn or dusk, evenly grey, a silk swath stretched taut and featureless above the darker crumple of the bay, only the dwindle of a tanker rising incrementally toward the horizon making distance or time. The ticking watch on its chain nestled in his pocket at the seam of his thigh corroborates the illusion, but its time is a circle and keeps coming back again to the same place and the rain keeps falling.

And this is why, his eyes still on the unblinking warehouse window, his hand drifts across the leather of the bench seat, not stealthy, but subtle in any case, blameless, slipping between the sound of the rain and the silence inside the car, where Starsky is also watching, cheek on his fist, elbow on the windowsill. He's motionless, his breath a fog against the window beside his head. His other hand, flat on the seat beside him, is warm, and his fingers part like sand as Hutch's slide between them, and Hutch's palm lies against the tendons on the back of Starsky's hand as they rise and smooth again, Starsky's fingers curling to keep Hutch's from slipping away like a wave would, having reached as far up the beach as it can go.

Someone will move across the window. The tanker will balance on the line between sky and ocean and then tip over the edge. The sun will come up.


For now, the rain keeps falling.


Notes: This one is all my fault.

Feedback welcomed at troyswann@yahoo.ca.

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