Thursday, August 07, 2008

Whereupon Stoicism Ensued

Last night I walked out of a writers' group that I attend and was surprised. I'm quite anxious about a party I'm throwing tonight and so I've been watching the weather all week. I watch weather more closely nowadays because I ride my scooter to and fro. It's a great way to go. You're outside with the wind in your hair. When I scooter into work you can tell because I'm grinning all day.

This week it rained Monday morning so I drove and grumbled to work, but the weather said it'd be iffy Tuesday and Thursday, but sunny Wednesday. I scootered to work in wonderful weather and then rode to my writers' group, but I noted a bit of cloud cover. When the group broke up last night, I stepped outside and felt a couple drops sprinkling on me. Instead of loitering and chatting, I bid my farewells and scooted.

My writers' group meets in downtown Grand Rapids and I live in the northeast suburbs. It's about a five mile ride to get home. I started out and after a block the rain was pouring down.

You can tell when I go past on my scooter because I've got a grin on my face. Last night the grin became a grimace. I got as far as Fuller avenue and noticed my scooter lacks the power to climb the hill on Fuller faster than about 15 mph. I was soaked to the skin with almost the entire ride ahead of me. And there was a traffic snag at Fuller and Lake. It is a very low feeling to sit in a downpour waiting for traffic when you've got most of your ride ahead of you.

After a few cycles of the streetlight, I got moving again and the rain was now a full downpour. Hard to see. I was driven to distraction by the fear of an unseen pothole opening before me, and also the fear that my tires would lose traction. Thus I proceeded more slowly as some light hail joined the downpour. Thus I proceeded until I was 2/3rds of the way home.

On Plymouth avenue there is an overpass. I sheltered there and tried unsuccessfully to dry my goggles. You can't dry goggles when everything you have is soaked. After a few minutes of laboring in vain, I proceeded home.

Upon turning onto my street, I noticed the road beneath the trees was dry and that the rain was letting up. The rain ended as I drove into my garage.

My wife met me with great sympathy and she helped me strip. My shirt and undershirt and backpack came off to begin their process of making puddles on the hallway floor. I got in the shower, but before I did I tried to wring water out of my underwear: the item of clothing I thought would be the last to be soaked. I got a fair amount of water out.

The shower was hot and I enjoyed the sensation. I was safe and warm. A few minutes later I had changed into dry clothes and this ordeal was past tense. I tease my Prius-driving friend about how I use less gas and have a lot more fun than he does. I figure that when he reads this he'll feel some measure of vindication.

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