In the dream, the rain crashed down, hitting the windows head on, rattling the glass. The force of the rain threatened to fling the air conditioner four floors down to the ground. I felt soaked, but my skin was dry. There were trees in the dream, trees I don’t see in real life, and they were wet, whipping in the wind. One was attacking the windows. I was sure the rain was leaking in.
I woke up. It was sometime very late at night or very early morning, still dark, and the rainstorm was actually happening. E, who battles incredible insomnia, was just coming to bed. He said something about how heavy the rain was, but the pounding rain was so loud, I could barely hear him. There were no leaks, or trees attacking us, so I let the sounds of the storm lull me back to sleep.
Coincidentally, before going to bed, before the storm, I’d felt something similar inside me—wanting to leap four floors to the ground, to break glass, to leak in a puddle all over the floor. I had been thinking about how much I wanted to escape. How so much of my life has become artificial, and how I am tired of faking it. Here, I guess, I’m myself. When I write, I’m myself. When I’m with E, or when I (rarely) see my friends from college, I’m myself. But this corporate other self, the one in daylight, I really do not want to force myself to be her anymore.
For an artist a job should be simply a job, but for some reason mine has been hard for me to balance. I am stung by it too often, my feelings hurt when I don’t “play the game” and still no one notices. I don’t want to play games. I’m not cut out for the corporate world; it feels so wrong I can’t even articulate it clearly.
This isn’t just about my job. I don’t want to play the game when it comes to publishing, either.
My fondest memories involve rainstorms. The one I am thinking of now was when we drove the highways in the U-Haul on the way to move to a new town. I was at an awful age, still trapped at home with my mother and stepfather. But we were moving somewhere new. We were leaving whatever I had been behind. It was not my decision—no one would have cared what I wanted. The move was completely out of my control and yet it was the exact thing I needed at that exact moment. We drove through the night in the U-Haul and the rain drenched the roads, running down the glass so everything looked distorted outside the truck. Everything we owned was in the cavern in the back. I sat in the passenger seat, I had my cheek up against the window. The truck skidded through the rain. I wasn’t scared. I was happy. You see, it was like a dream come true—I was escaping at last.
And that’s what pounding rain reminds me of: the beautiful escape. That’s why I love it so.
Last night, the storm continued loudly for I don’t know how long. I slept peacefully. Maybe I’m not as stuck as I think I am.