Image Credit: Moyan_Brenn
Games and the Rain
Perhaps because I grew up in the parched atmosphere of Los Angeles, from an early age I came to love rainy days: the refracted glow of streetlights; the way things felt extra warm when you were inside and gazing out into the dampness; the sound of droplets pelting impervious surfaces, a cacophony that enveloped you, contained and focused your thoughts, turned hot chocolate into a sacred drink.
In my parent’s old house we had a little TV connected to a Nintendo. I would sit on the carpet, a couch to my left, and a glass door leading to a balcony on the right, and play Super Mario Brothers or Sonic the Hedgehog. But what I savored more than anything were those rare days when I didn’t have school AND it was raining. On those days I could lean back and see the glow of the screen in the window, make out the clouds drifting across the sky, and hear the sounds of the game muffled by the sound of the storm.
What I hated most was when the clouds would part and the sun would start to peek through; it felt to me like an invasion of that comfortable place I had been inhabiting…an invasion of my privacy! That’s why I was never content with a mere thundershower; no, I needed to know that a solid part of the day would consist of uninterrupted rain. Then, and only then, could I relax and slip into those soft mental pajamas.
It rained today in Providence. All day. Exactly how I like it. Of course I had things to do: a meeting at the United Way, grants to write, invoices and checks to sign. I am an adult now, after all! Still, as I dealt with firing an unruly employee, looked for a replacement, and continued the never-ending quest to keep the lights on, every once in a while I walked up to the window (it overlooks a parking lot, alas) and felt time shrivel up and evaporate. For a few moments I was that little boy playing his video games…a little boy playing at life: the nonprofit game, the adult game, the relationship game, the money game. And you know what? If I pause just long enough—all games come with a pause button—I remember that everything is an adventure and am able to once again bask in the drizzly, soaked, clouded-over wonder of being alive.