Escaping from beneath the rock.

January 10th, 2014, 10pm

For a few weeks, it seemed San Francisco had forgotten how to winter. While the rest of the country shivered through polar vortices, we found ourselves prancing around parks in our tank tops, complaining about the drought.

Something inside me wasn’t fooled. I knew, somewhere deep and inescapable, that unseasonable weather only changes the way you dress. That there is no escaping winter light.

So I stayed inside. My friends didn’t really get it. I couldn’t help it: somehow, I just couldn’t make myself leave.

In a way, the rain is a comfort. It gives form to the feeling I fight every season, the one seemingly unearned by the sunshine of January. In the rain, everything is allowed to feel heavy. You can swaddle yourself in blankets on the new couch, eschew social contact, and people understand: the gloom has touched them, too. Everyone fighting the hibernation urge together. In second summer, hiding under a rock is just antisocial.

As soon as the rain started, I left the house. Coffee shops and bars abruptly called my name, invited me to embrace the bluster. Apparently, it is easier to feel triumphant getting out of bed when some obvious physical obstacle awaits. (No one’s impressed that you went outside when the sun is shining.)

So here I am, drinking tea in a place that is not my house. Water is pooling in the gutters and licking up the sidewalk. This is not my teacup; the people on either side of my table are strangers. Everyone who walks through the door brings with them their own tiny flurry of rain. Everything drips. And yes: it’s cold, and dreary, and my hair hasn’t been properly dry in two days. But everything is a little lighter, too. Like an exhalation of breath, something held too long released. Like when at last the spring arrives, I’ll recognize its face.

Anne Marie, Adrian and Jack said thanks.

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Zoelle Egner

Digital literature. Alternate reality games. Science fiction. Cocktails. Octopuses. Excessive pondering. By day I do the technology thing. (Sometimes by night, too.)

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