Walking in the rain

Only two types of people walk freely in the rain- the brave and the dejected.
This does not count the ones walking in groups, or the ones rushing through with their pants rolled up to the knees. I saw two men today, walking at a steady measured pace when the rain was falling faster than a time-lapsed sunset. Barely half a minute gap between each other, the paraded on the wet blackness of the asphalt outside my house. My face was pressed into the grills, willing the rusted railing to give away another ice cold drop of rain, and they floated, almost revelled in the joy of the water flooding down from the open sky-taps.

The first man had a school bag slung over his shoulders, carrying it with the despondency that had reduced a middle aged man into a boy trudging home from school. His creased pinstripe shirt and the mud flaked trousers seeped with the suffocation of his ugly routine desk job. The smell of despair wafted from him, getting more pronounced in the ice drops that battered on his weary face. On either side of him, folks rushed on in their pale umbrellas, carefree shoulders, while he just walked, like the rain on his bare shoulder was just another insult to his downtrodden soul.

Barely had he disappeared from my vision, when I heard the distinct sound of a wolf-whistle. Every girl knows what that sound mean, that mean crass tune echoing in the near empty street. I briefly wondered if I was visible in my third-floor window, as the yellow gas lamps bathed the soaked streets gold.
A skinny boy appeared, his gait that of absolute leisure. A white cotton sheet was draped around his shoulders, and he strolled with the air of a star misplaced from the red carpet.
His lips curled and formed the whistle again and again, yet the road was empty. He didn’t even notice the rain, hollering at an imaginary lady while the sky fell in condensed drops of air.
I watched him pass by, unhurried, foolishly brave in the face of the thunder streaking through the sky’s forehead. The furies cackled, up in the ink parchment of the sky.

Only the dejected and the brave defy the Gods.
Only the dejected and the brave die young.


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