Human Touch

It rained this week, a proper rain that helped clean my car of all the crap and dust it’d accumulated over the week (as well as the wax I’d so lovingly put on just last weekend). Alas, more wax shall be applied when the rain breaks — which I hope won’t be for a while yet because California is in desperate need of a good soaking, and I love the sound of rain so much I have a “30-minute thunderstorm loop” bookmarked on my computer.

This entire week, I have loved listening to the sound of rain pounding on the window of my childhood bedroom, watching the wipers whip water away (and form what I call the “tiny little shark fin” at the bottom of the windshield where the wipers never cross), and looking up from my computer in the office at work to see the rain hitting the pavement outside.

All of this has thrown me, even more so than usual, for a wild ride down memory lane. I remember being in elementary, middle, and high school, sitting in my same bedroom and listening for the sound of rain hitting the gutter in heavy plunks because it made me feel small, but safe and warm.

I remember being three, being reassured by my mom that the thunderstorm outside our car wouldn’t get to us. It was around that time that I’d decided that the un-wiped spot between the car’s windshield wipers formed the shape of a shark’s dorsal fin. My mom and I did return home safely from the library that day. The thunderstorm continued outside, and for safety — or perhaps just to comfort me — we turned out all the lights and sat together on the bottom step of our staircase, eating an orange Popsicle.

I remember being seven, rejoicing in the fact that we would be kept in for rainy day recess because sometimes the other kids on the playground were a little too rough for me. And when we were kept indoors for recess, we were forced to hang out only with the other students in our class, and not everyone in our grade. My best friend was in my class at the time…as was a boy on whom I’d had a slight crush. (Go figure.)

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Last weekend, I’d told myself that I was going to spend this week “vegetating.” I was intentionally not reaching out and not making plans with anyone so I could have the freedom to do absolutely nothing. It was going to be a week of no commitments, zero worries, and time for me to gather my thoughts in the safety of my own four walls.

And of course, just like every other week in my life when I’ve attempted to make such plans for myself, some of my friends have come around and mucked them up in the best ways possible. (Just for clarification, read: Thank you for reaching out to me.)

I was very lucky this weekend because I was able to spend time with not just one, but three of my longest standing friends, all of whom reminded me many times throughout our hangouts, of why we’d become friends in the first place — and why we’d remained friends after all this time.

I remember going with you to the cafeteria during every break (was that between third and fourth period?) to buy your sausage and cheese bagel, basically all four years of high school. I remember moving into your room and sheepishly having to knock on your door because I kept forgetting my pencil pouch, my water bottle, or my agenda on your desk when I finally retreated to my room to sleep. I remember recording video responses for each other between homework assignments because we wanted to talk to each other in-person and realized this was the best compromise to let both of us still finish our homework.

This weekend, each of you reminded me of why I’d written this post six months ago, and why — even as a massive introvert — I love spending time with people. All of you brightened my quiet weekend in ways I never expecting and helped me breathe a little more deeply.

As almost all of you mentioned to me, in one form or another, “There are some people who you know you’ll still be friends with in five years…”

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