Rain. We’ve had some. And it has been heavy. On Friday, I did manage to pop out during a break in the weather to grab a haircut and some ice-cream.
I looked and felt like a bit of a shambles –I was just at home studying when the rain stopped and I got suddenly ambitious– but this summer rain can be a bit tricky. It gets humid. Like, I thought Toronto got humid. And it does. But, friends, there are whole other levels of humidity. This humidity is more akin to a jungle than Dufferin and Bloor.
Even the super-thin raincoats, which are basically plastic bags and for sale at subway stations and the like, feel like wearing a greenhouse. Umbrellas would seem to be the sensible solution but I hate umbrellas. Really hate them. I’m not sure if it’s because of my height but they only keep the rain off the top half of me and this they do badly. Basically, an umbrella works on me like an awkward and ineffective hat. This leaves me with hats.
Maybe someone out there can style hats. Not me. If I avoid feeling like the patron of some fucking jazzy burlesque nostalgia club, I end up feeling like some combination of Paddington Bear and the shadow looming over the foot of your bed at 3:33AM. (see you later this week but maybe you won’t see me!) I can tolerate hats but I’ll never like them.
As Nan used to say, you need to have a hat face. And I don’t. Yet I still sometimes require a hat. And Nan used to say a lot of things.
So yeah, it’s a bit messy.
The funny thing is, when I was in Cali, a place renowned for its perfect weather, I found most people craved grey skies and rain. Many wanted to move to Portland. Why? Not because of its hipsters or culture or whatever. Just because it rained. Talking about those fogs and grey skies, your average Californian gets a little overcome. Their eyes go dreamy, They float three centimetres off the ground. They might even clutch their chest or flap their arms. They love the rain. Just not when it’s in California. And, if you were to ask my wife, who is about as deep Californian as you’re ever going to find, much of her family having been in the area since before the Westward Expansion and probably before any Europeans at all showed up, what place has the best weather in the world, her answer is . . .
She sighs and levitates. “It’s perfect. So grey.”
I don’t mind the rain. I tend to avoid strong feelings about the weather. I think years of listening to Father react with helpless hostility whenever weather happened cured me of those feelings. I can still remember when The Weather Channel appeared. Father watched this station with obsessive interest, complaining and shouting the entire time. And the winters! Fucking months of time indoors with an increasingly surly drunk — a man red with anger that he was not red with a sunburn. Incredulous that he should ever have to wear a shirt or anything other than or more than a pair of nylon shorts. I never understood it. There’s nothing you can do about the weather. You live in Canada. Get wet, get cold, it’s not the end of the world. Get a fucking coat.
To be fair, Father did have an assortment of lung problems caused by coal-burning in London, and the damp made these problems worse but who ever wants to be fair to their own parents? Not me. We left fairness behind in the the gift-shop we strode through on our way to the bar. Any sense of perspective I might have had is still there with the toy giraffe.
I did manage to get myself good and soaked last night. We had a bit of a chocolate, pain pill, and assorteds shortage at home so I, all hopped up on K-Dramas and occasionally being prone to wild romantic gestures, took it upon myself to correct the situation.
Got totally drenched.
And I hate even saying “cyberpunk.” I really hate saying it in relation to Asia. The very word makes me feel dirty. In general, calling things “cyberpunk” or “dystopian” is just fucking lazy, totally boring, and about as insightful as a Pepsi advertisement. But, in this one specific instance, I hope it’s funny too. I don’t know. Maybe I overthink things. But if I ever start describing this place (or Los Angeles) by pulling Blade Runner comparisons out of my rain-hat, throw me in the river and just leave me there. Sick of that shit.