“And I never buy umbrellas, For there’s always one around” *

Another rainy morning, like yesterday. Deciding whether to hold my backpack over my head on the trek into my employer’s building or just cruise naked headed through the downfall. Chose to go with the wet head.

I don’t carry an umbrella. I have a vague aversion to them. They seem to me a bulky uni-tasker taking up space in one’s surroundings waiting for that one situation. Maybe if I lived in Seattle. They also have moving parts, which slide against each other, always a danger when you’re going to rely on an item which most of the time lies about doing nothing. At least they don’t have batteries.

I don’t often have to walk too far through the rain. The walk across my employer’s parking lot is a good one but my trusty and heavy Under Armour backpack provides sufficient cover for the odd day of cats and dogs. There is only one time that I remember (or will concede) that an umbrella was a necessity.

We were in Germany. My traveling companion was a manager for my employer. We were there for work but made sure to add a day or two for some sightseeing. One of our stops was the beautiful town of Heidelberg. We checked out the Alte Bruecke, with its monkey and his mirror and walked the streets of the town, my traveling companion bought a nice clock (I think that was in Heidelberg). I don’t think we went into the castle. Sorry, it’s been years and I forget things now and again, and really, there are so many castles in my life.

One thing I remember is that it rained like hell. It would let up now and again and then right back in. I didn’t even think of buying an umbrella, I don’t carry them. My traveling partner bought one for me. That was really nice of him, or maybe he was trying to shame me for not having one, I’ll go with it being a really nice gesture. I think we still have that umbrella around somewhere – I wouldn’t know ‘cos, I don’t carry one.

Another thing I remember from that day was a bus or tram stop. It was good sized, three sides with plexiglass wingwalls coming out at wide angles. There was space for a respectable number of people to sit on the benches lining the walls or stand under the stop’s roof. A young woman, maybe 16 or 17 years old, walked up to the stop. She was wearing a skirt and boots. She greeted a couple of friends, a young man and young woman, with a friendly hello for the young man and an even friendlier mouth on mouth kiss for the young woman. She let loose of the other girl, turned, and walked face first into the plexiglass.

My traveling companion turned to me and remarked: “powerful kiss.”

* post title from “Strange Weather” by Tom Waits


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