Today, the rain came.
Portland, notorious for the rains returning in October, made this year no exception.
I’d been looking forward to this. While most transplants from other states revel in the lovely, sunny and dry fall, hanging on as long as they can, I look forward to the first rain. It’s cool and biting. Blanket weather. Scented candles and hot tea. Curling up somewhere, ready for an entire wet winter.
This year however, things are different. While I had been waiting for this day, the damp, cold air, the grey and foggy sky, something about today is not quite right. Perhaps because I’ve had my share of rain and winter, through all the seasons this year.
Today took me back to this time a year ago.
I was recovering from pneumonia. My best friend and lover, gone. Abandoned. My apartment cold and empty. Television flickering in the living room while I lay on the couch staring at the wall, wondering how it had come to this. Then, getting up, dressing myself without bothering to bathe, and walking to the bar. And, never leaving it. Well, that’s how it felt anyway.
I woke this morning, early as usual, having had strange, dark dreams. But, nevertheless, I began the day with the best of intentions. I attended my 7AM AA meeting. But, it felt off. It was crowded, packed full, in fact. There was a restlessness and unease in the room. A strange feeling set on my day. From there, I went to the gym, where I struggled with my workout after a row of several strong days. Met with a friend for a strangely mellow coffee date. Went to rehab, where our group was hardly the upper I was hoping for before the weekend.
I’d planned on attending an AA meeting at 8PM, but, abandon the idea. Returning home to make dinner, light my pumpkin candle, and watch a movie.
While I have no desire to go there, my mind keeps returning to the bar. Cold and lonely in my drafty apartment. Cool hardwoods under my slippered feet.
I take a moment to remember how dark my life was this time last year. How tonight, I can choose to sit here with this strange and empty sadness. Acknowledging it. How tonight, I can stand at the tea kettle in the kitchen and not run away from this odd and bruised moment. Refusing to take cover in a rocks glass full of vodka. Though, I must say, it does sound nice. To easily forget these little dark spots, no longer the luxury it once was.
So, the rain will fall. Little drops sticking to the screens outside the storm windows. And I’ll sit in gratitude for the things I have. And, tonight, I’ll allow myself to mourn the things I’ve lost too.