The harsh traffic sounds became a soft sizzle. The winds crept up a bit and softened the situation, left a blurred sort of impression in my eyes. I opened the windows to a symphony that cured my ailing ears from the stale complaint of the horns and jagged barbs of highway noise. I sat and breathed for a moment, unaware that the rain had begun to come into the room. I imagined a dramatic red velvet curtain curling at my luxurious entrance on a palatial balcony overlooking the once-parched implacable city streets. The curtains in fact were in on the production, back-up singers carrying me to my greatest villain song.
The first good rain came before we had fully moved in. Most of our life was still in boxes. We were without routine or the comforts of home, but our home was already a thrilling adventure. In the heat of summer we sweat a flood upon our skin, sticky sleep on air mattress sheets. The heat was unbearable with the windows closed and so we were at the mercy of fourth avenue’s incessant taunting. The masses line up to turn left onto 17th street, shooting their frustrated honk at my face. The expressway lines our master bedroom’s bay windows and the passersby pollute the quiet moments of morning light that mean an end to the LED street lamps in my eyes.
Our first few weeks here were a challenge. Between the noise and the headlights blaring into our room, sleep was miserable. We were forced to choose between sleepless, noisy nights with a breeze or a stuffy nightmare with a slightly muted reminder that just beyond our windows is a bridge to Manhattan that never quiets down.
But days like today remind me of why we loved this apartment when we first saw it. Behind closed windows in a cozy apartment on a chilly day we are sheltered from the rain I love so much. I look up at a sheer grayness as Manhattan disappears behind the downpour and the diffused light casts a melancholic glow upon the room. Here we are in the midst of a deluge and all I can think of is how lucky we are to have our own piece of unobstructed sky through the windows.
Today I cannot see the Statue of Liberty from my kitchen window, but I instead see the bricks on the building across the street darkened with rain. I see the puddles forming around the construction of the Prospect Ave. R Train stop. The cars seem less hurried, their occupants subdued by a sense of resignation that yes, today I will be late because of the rain. Today is a perfect day.