Today it rained.
I know that means little to everyone else, but here in Venice, the sun has been shining unabated for the entire three months we’ve been here. It hadn’t rained the month before we got here. The blacktop was baked, cracked, there were file cabinets in back yards with papers opened, and a feeling it was never going to rain again.
We saw flashes over the ocean last night, but didn’t take them seriously. Maybe it was a ship beacon? A transformer box erupting? And then, this morning, the wistful sound of water beads hitting the roof, and then the palm trees, and then the pelting plush of drops on grass.
Our power went out, as though the utility poles themselves were caught completely unawares. We lay in the 5am half-darkness, just listening to the rain as though it were a once-familiar song with lyrics utterly forgotten.
Later, the sidewalks were clear. Urine that had stained the pavement for months was now washed to sea. It was a clean slate; you could see through the car window once more. The Santa Monica mountains, usually blurs, rose in the distance with dark peaks set sharp against a troubled sky.
For a few hours, Los Angeles almost seemed human, almost seemed like it had moods, was vulnerable. The devastating sameness, the oppressive sunshine had lifted. Jogged into consciousness, I woke up and missed New York terribly.