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Not Unrelatedly, the Old Man Is Snoring

January 14, 2010

Man, it is raining like a son of a bitch.

Last weekend, certain people at writing program orientation day – which by the way contrary to my expectations did not consist of everyone standing up and announcing their orientation and then receiving honest and constructive feedback from the group – discovered that I had just moved from Calgary and took it upon themselves to give me a jolly ribbing along the lines of “You’re going to get rained on a lot” (that isn’t a verbatim quotation but it captures the gist). To which I replied that, having spent my whole childhood in Saskatchewan and most of my adulthood in Alberta, I was confident that I could handle any weather conditions Vancouver had to offer. And I stand by that. By my prairie standards, +10 on January 14 is impossibly warm. I haven’t worn gloves once since I got here. I didn’t even bring my winter coat because if I wore that thing here I would look like a douchette, which means “lady douche.” You wouldn’t think it would be necessary to put a feminine ending on a word that as recently as twentyish years ago clearly and distinctly pertained to women, but language is fluid, and both “douche” and “douchebag” are now most often used by men to describe other men, so I thought an effeminate suffix might help us ladies take back the night on this one.

But okay though, to be fair to my orientation day tormentors, it is seriously fucking raining. It’s been raining te kai pouring for about 48 hours. It’s raining cats dogsque. The Greek and Latin idioms will delight ten to twelve nerds while momentarily alienating everyone else, but unlike millions of Oprah viewers, I do not suffer from The Disease To Please, so I’m not going to worry about it. I prefer to follow Jay-Z’s example and love all my haters. As previously discussed, I went out to buy an umbrella a few days ago and came home with books, which was pretty much the least unpredictable outcome ever, but despite the brilliance of Pale Fire, a book that’s guaranteed to put a smile on the face of anyone who’s ever spent time in a line of work that involves daily interaction with literary commentaries and/or pompous wackjobs, I have begun to regret my decision.

I had been tossing around the idea of walking up the hill (it’s one of those serious hills with speed bumps on the sidewalk so you don’t kill yourself on the way down) to Safeway today, but it is raining so goddamn much. Can I say “without surcease” in 2010? Fuck it, I’m saying it. It’s raining without surcease. The other day the sun came out for about two hours and provided enough light to fuel a flashback to grade nine when we read an Ursula LeGuin story that took place in the distant future following man’s colonization of Venus (if I were one of the rantier types of feminist I would stop and gather the group around and point at that phrase and be all like What a perfect metaphor for etc. etc. etc.), a planet that resembles the human crotch in terms of likelihood that the sun will shine there. Astronomers had determined that the sun would be visible for one minute at a particular time of a particular day, and this was a really huge deal for the Venereal colonists because seeing the sun was a once-in-a-lifetime (if that) opportunity. And in one particular classroom, the story’s protagonist and her horrible classmates had been left unattended for some reason, and just before the teacher left the room the kids had all recited the poems about the sun that they’d been assigned to write the day before, and the protagonist’s was far and away the best one, so of course as soon as the teacher was gone the other kids ganged up on the protagonist and mocked her to tears and locked her in a closet, and then they heard the teacher’s returning footsteps and went back to their seats and pretended nothing had happened, because kids are total fucking spineless jerks, and then a few minutes later out came the sun and the teacher and the mean-spirited brats ran to the window and watched in awe and it was the most beautiful thing any of them had ever seen but the protagonist was still in the closet and no one remembered her until it was too late. By the time they let her out the incredible moment was long over.

The story is way better than I’ve made it seem, but the point is, the frenzied excitement on Venus is comparable to the enraptured reactions of the inhabitants of a coastal city when the sun comes out in January. You literally stop what you’re doing and head for a window because holy shit.

I think we can all agree that the best part of this post is the douche commercial.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Purple Bluster permalink
    January 15, 2010 7:29 pm

    Read The Golden Gate by Vikram Seth. Also, post the rest of your novel.

    • Kate permalink*
      January 15, 2010 7:49 pm

      I like your enthusiasm, whoever you are, not to mention your use of the imperative mood. I’m on board with the first of your commands, but not the second one, because if I post the whole thing online, then who will bother to purchase it whif (=when/if) it gets published? The author of a published novel makes ONE DOLLAR for every copy sold. I want a ride on that gravy train!

  2. Purple Bluster permalink
    January 15, 2010 10:07 pm

    You appear to be indirectly responsive to imperatives.

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