Perspective: The Insomniac And The Rainstorm

Sep 24, 2019

Rain. My word. And thunderbolts split the sky. Of late these storms ride at night, when I’m wide awake. Power flashes and the black dog cowers. Worry. Gutters overflow. The basement pools. My friend Mike says night rain makes him drool. Better than some pill.

I wish. Write about what keeps you awake at night, my old professor said. Rain. Marches across the night to assault the house. Raps on my bedroom window with its little bayonets. All nouns contain images, Lynda Barry says. But where do they come from? I don’t hear rain for long before I think, flood. And then the Kishwaukee River rushes back. Huh. It’s been a long time since the old Kish kept me awake at night. Small river where I first got wet. River of the flood. Our low house perched like driftwood on its bank. Dad off railroading for days and up drives the rain. Who’s that coming down the driveway now? Uh oh.

Mom on green phone dialing but she never could catch Dad on the road. Lynda Barry says, Try this: Think of your first phone number. Write it down. 522-3596. 815.522.3596. I had to memorize that number to graduate kindergarten 40some years ago. And then tie my shoes. Mrs. Moon. Circle Time. Show and Tell. Neighbors, farmers down the gravel road—Wittwers. Anderbergs--Come help with the sandbags. But the Kish wants in, and what the Kish wants, it gets. Right through the back door it comes in, with its gift of brown water. Comes in without knocking the way a country neighbor would. Says, Hello the house. Anyone home? Yes, yes. Here I am. Awake. At this hour, who knows why.

I’m Chris Fink and that’s my perspective.