There are clean rains in New York. Rains that seem to sweep the streets and sweeten the air. Rain that puts a shine on the taxis and that the buses splash through to the delight of brightly colored children.
For the last three days New York has been hit with the opposite. A dirty scowling rain that sets everyone on edge like they've just committed a horrible crime and they don't want to be found out.
The rain howled down my block this morning, hitting me like a sheet on a clothesline. I caught the crosstown bus to get out of it, a bus more crowded than usual because a lot of people had the same idea I did. No one got up for the old ladies. No one looked up from their Blackberries.
Next to me sat an older lady confessing out loud. "I wasn't as patient as I could have been yesterday. I almost lost my temper," she told her hands loud enough for me to hear. Practically nothing in the modern world moves as slowly as a New York City crosstown bus in the rain. I heard her lamentations all across the park.
The subway wait was long. Trains had just left as I entered the station. There was a pool at the bottom of the steps. People leapt past the guy selling newspapers covered with a plastic tarp.
Jesus stood alongside me on the platform and he smelled. An old-style New York homeless man, delusional, paranoid, and ranting. With a mix of Santa Monica in him. He had steely good looks, a full-lustrous beard and abs way better than mine.
"Can anyone tell me who the anti-Christ is," he asked my car on the C Train. "I'm just trying to get some information here." He continued. "They rerouted the trains to DeKalb. Why do the fuckers make it so hard? Do you really believe that a man parted the Red Sea and people walked across on the ocean floor? Then you're a sucker! A sucker."
A woman next to me smiled at me, "What a day," she said. "New York in the rain is a Third World country." I nodded and smiled back.
She left the train at 59th. I took her seat and had one of the small two-seat benches to myself. Would Jesus sit with me? His plastic bags filled with newspapers and junk, would they spill into my lap?
I discouraged contact by taking up a seat and a half and I rode the bench solo. Mahler was on my iPod.
Sturm und drang for a sturm und drang day.