Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Sunday, June 16, 2013

When the Clouds Don’t Mean Anything and Are Only Clouds

by Rich Boucher

We stood in our driveway and waited for the rain to come. The sky was a grey, brindled quilt of irritated-looking clouds. There was a pale blue light coming in through the stitches in that quilt. We felt like we had every right to expect rain, as it had not fallen on us in years. We had no plan, formulated no idea as to how long we would stand in our driveway and look up at the sky waiting for it to happen. There was almost no one out there, on the main road by our house. This was a Sunday that Sundayed very hard. That ozone smell of the rain played around our noses like a perfume bringing about a memory neither of us would be able to recall. I don’t know what you looked up and saw, what you wondered up at the sky. We made small talk about how the air felt outside, and how quiet everything was. Even the dogs in the neighborhood were silent, and we could normally hear at least one dog barking. I don’t know what you imagined that you saw in the clouds. I can only tell you what I imagined, even if telling you means risking that you will now know that I am not very deep at all. I wondered if a thousand yellow lightning bolts shaped like exclamation points were going to drop out of the clouds without a sound, and I couldn’t figure out if that would be a celebration of God or if all those glow-in-the-dark exclamation points would be how my small, human mind would interpret the end of the world. It became easy to wonder if that dark, angry sea in the sky came into being from all the steam rising up from the heads of people worrying everywhere. We never got to it, but I was supposed to tell you about the call from my aunt, how she’d called to tell me that my cousin was in the hospital, and also that she won a hundred dollars on a scratch ticket.

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