b Papa Dog's Blog: Rain, Rain, Go Away, Come Again in San Jose

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Monday, January 10, 2005

Rain, Rain, Go Away, Come Again in San Jose

Dumbass me, I glanced hurriedly at the paper this morning, somehow interpreted the “chance of thunderstorms” icon as “possible light showers,” and decided I didn’t need my raincoat. This was all in the brief moments before heading out the door, and in my addled departure state, I somehow conceived the opinion that the light showers would occur entirely during the time I was inside a nice, dry office building. I had absolutely no basis for this opinion, but it quickly became a conviction, and I didn’t give it a second thought all day.

Mama Dog called just before I was going to leave work and told me that it was raining like a sonofabitch. “Oh,” I said. “I wonder if I have an umbrella stashed here somewhere.” I used to. One in the filing cabinet. One under the archive disks. One over in the backup operator’s area. Then, for reasons I can’t now fathom, I did the same thing again; I formed the conviction that there was no umbrella without even looking. There probably isn’t one – they kept either breaking or finding their way home with me – but I didn’t take even a moment to look. Worse, I contrived a leap of faith that the rain would let up by the time I exited the Rockridge BART station. What am I, the Bush administration? Where was I getting this intel?

So the walk from the office to Embarcadero BART wasn’t so bad. It was really just an enthusiastic sprinkle. I was wet but not drenched, and any discomfort I experienced in the train ride was due not to my damp pelt but to the body odour of the hairy-eyeballed crossword-worrying commuter hag standing next to me.

When the doors opened at Rockridge I finally realised that I was in trouble. I was at the very end of the platform and it was coming down like nobody’s bidness. I ducked my head down, pulled my collar up, and hurried along the six car lengths to the shelter over the escalator. I belled Mama Dog on the mobby and said, “I’m screwn.” Obviously she couldn’t come pick me up – she was feeding the baby – but I had a glimmer of hope concerning a ride in a taxicab if only she had some cash on her, because I didn’t. I glanced this way and that out the windows of the pedestrian bridge and saw cabs on neither side of College, so the point was moot. “Huh,” I said. “I guess I’ll just get soaked.”

At least I was able to walk under the shelter of the freeway for the length of the parking lot, dodging the curtain of runoff every couple of car rows where the slabs meet above. When I peeped out at Miles and Forrest, it was still coming down, and there wasn’t a whit of shelter the rest of the way home. By the time I staggered up out front steps, I was thoroughly bedraggled.

I greeted my little family and towelled my head off, then heaved a sigh before heading back out into it. Doggy Dog needed his walk. At least this time I was able to put my raincoat on. Ironically – I thought – the rain chose that moment to let up. I had been intending to do an abbreviated-on-account of rain walk, but figured our boy deserved better if there was a window of opportunity. I walked him as far as Colby and 61st, where he obligingly took a dump in the sopping grassy strip. I scooped up the prize and we headed home, middling damp and light of heart.

Until we were two blocks from home, that is. That’s when the monsoon opted to commence. This was worse than the sum total of all the rain that had come before. Our exposure was all of two minutes, but by the time we were back inside, my jeans were plastered to my legs, my cowboy boots – not the perforated Seibels, mind – were soaked through, and there was water sloshing around inside my pockets. I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen before.

Mama Dog was standing by to towel Doggy. My bathrobe was standing by to replace my saturated accoutrements, dinner was standing by to be consumed, and Baby Dog was sitting by for her second big “Daddy’s home!” greeting of the night. I’ve showered three times today, I have a home to come back to, and if I have a complaint in the world it doesn’t now spring to mind.


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