Of Rain and Men
Hello again, Dear Reader. It’s now evening here in New Hometown, Florida. The sun is low on the western horizon; sunset is not until 7:03 PM Eastern, but the light from outside is dimming ever so steadily, and it will be dark here soon. The rain showers come and go as if on an invisible conveyor from the southwest to the northeast, but we have not had any thunderstorm activity here – at least not yet.
Outside it is still on the warm side; the temperature is 82˚F (28˚C) under partly sunny skies, but with humidity at 78% and a 13 MPH (21 KM/H) wind blowing from the west-southwest, the feels-like temperature is 89˚F (31˚C).
Considering how hot it was when I ventured out earlier, on the surface it seems as though it might have been better if I had waited and gone out around this time. When I lived in Miami, especially between May 2010 and April 2016, this was my usual “walking time,” unless it was at the height of the Florida rainy season and the neighborhood was socked under either heavy rain showers or, worse, thunderstorms.
However, a cursory look at the radar shows that there are lots of rain showers in the general area; it might not be raining now, but let’s say I decide to go outside for another stroll. I think the odds of being caught in a rain shower or even a thunderstorm are – realistically speaking – not in my favor.
And in any case, the forecast for the evening still looks like this:
The skies will be partly cloudy. The low will be 75˚F (31˚C). Rain is expected in the evening.
At 57 years of age, I have been caught outside by far too many rain showers in the three countries where I have stayed for prolonged periods – the U.S., Colombia, and Spain – and although I didn’t melt like the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz, I have often gotten sick as a result. Mostly colds that usually lasted 4-6 days but ran their course without major incident, but the one time that I got caught in a torrential downpour in Seville’s Parque de Maria Luisa in October of 1988, the respiratory ailment I caught afterward lasted until I got back to Miami on December 18, 1988. It waxed and waned, like phases of the Moon, for most of my Semester in Spain stint; the Cold Without End – as I called it then – didn’t ruin my study abroad experience, but it still affected my mood when its symptoms (especially the runny rose and mild headaches I’d get) flared up.
Now, of course, I’m 32 years older and living in the times of COVID-19: it would not be a good time to get any sort of respiratory ailment, especially since I am prone to get pneumonia or bronchitis. Not fun!
Right now, I’m listening to a CD with Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.6 in B minor, Op. 74, known as “Pathétique.” It’s a somber piece, and it is the music that I was listening to during my mom’s last hours on the night of July 18/19, 2015. I was sad then and I am sad now, although for different reasons. However, the listening experience is not going well; the disc seems to be badly scratched and is skipping and pausing in an annoying manner.
Ugh. Another setback in a series of setbacks. Luckily, I can deal with this with the aid of my Amazon Visa Rewards card; a scratched CD is easy to replace. A broken heart – either from the loss of a beloved parent or an unwanted breakup – is not as easily mended.
Incidentally, this is the second time that I’ve had to replace a CD with this composition. The first time around, it was a Pentagon Records edition of the two pieces on the album – the “Pathétique” and the “Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture.” I bought that CD at Bogota’s Oma record store the last time I was in Colombia, back in 1993. I loved that album, even though (or maybe because) the music is so melancholic. Well, it was filched from my house by someone with access to it – via keys – not long after my mom died five years ago. I replaced it with a different recording of the two pieces, of course, but I had not listened to it in a while. When I opened the CD’s jewel box to put it in the Blu-ray player, I saw that the disc was not secured in its niche and had popped into the hinge of the jewel box lid.
I suspected that it might have been scratched, but since the light in the room was dim, I could not see an obvious scratch, so I played it anyway. It played through the first movement just fine, but later it started hiccupping and hissing and skipping. So…yep. I need to replace it.
Oh, well, I’ll listen to my soundtrack of The Great Escape. Maybe that will cheer me up a bit.
Well, this is the fourth post I’ve written for A Certain Point of View, Too and my fifth post overall – a one-day record for me, I think – because I wrote a post – the 1,357th – in my original Blogger version of A Certain Point of View. I ought to call it quits for the day, though. I’m tired in every way a person can be tired, and I think I need to rest a while.