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January 22, 2009


It’s not necessarily one of my favourite words, but it’s one of my favourite things. It wasn’t in Glasgow, where it rains for the majority of the year, and everything is grey, and everyone is grey (you would be too if it rained constantly), and it’s the kind of rain that comes up as well as down so absolutely nothing is safe. Sometimes it’s the kind of rain that comes in big big sheets, like god has emptied a big bucket of water down on the world, and as soon as it hits the ground she lets go of another one, and then another. Sometimes it’s the kind of rain that stings when it hits your skin because it’s just so cold that everything is red and raw and those little pellets of water hit each of your nerves with precision. And sometimes it’s just spitting. God spitting on all of us, over and over again. No wonder I felt so grey all the time– god was spitting on me. That’s not very nice at all.

It always amazed me that there werent more words for rain in the English language. There are so many different types of rain. Of course there’s ‘raining’ and ‘spitting’. In Glasgow there’s ‘pissing it down’ (or doon. I never said ‘doon’.), in England there’s ‘cats and dogs’ which I’ve never heard in Glasgow or America, and I don’t really understand, unless the raindrops in England are as big as cats and dogs, but then I’m sure I would have heard of that in National Geographic or something. And then I’m sure that there are lots of other little words that don’t appear in the dictionary, but as far as common knowledge goes, I think that might be it, as far as rain goes.

Rain in Southern California is different. Just like everything in America, it’s bigger. The raindrops are bigger– these massive (but not quite the size of a cat or a dog) big globules of water that SPLOSH down on you and just one of them can soak you (but not like god has emptied a bucket of water on you). And the drainage is horrible (even though there are at least 4 big rain storms a year), so the streets are like very very shallow rivers and if you’re walking along the pavement then you’re in trouble because you are bound to get absolutely soaked by some asshole in a big SUV driving really fast while on his mobile phone drinking his starbucks coffee and not paying attention to the fact that he’s driving through a river past a pedestrian without an umbrella or wellies.

It’s nice by the sea when it rains. There’s nobody out. The sea looks grey and stormy and you can hear seagulls crying and, it’s a nice time to be alone with your thoughts. When it’s so cold outside, and your skin is frozen, the Pacific feels warm. Which is the main reason that the rain in LA is different to the rain in Glasgow. Because standing with my legs in the warm water that goes all the way to Japan, and for miles out all I can see is grey clouds and the mist of rain, and all I can hear is the crashing of the waves, and the raindrops falling, and the seagulls cawing, and for once in the rain I feel really really happy.

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