Sinjin scans the television guide until he gets to the baseball channels. “Want to come over and watch a game?” | It’s early, but seven o’clock is not that far away. It takes her a moment to decide whether to chance going to his place. Rain spatters on the windshield. | Sinjin pulls the hook. “I’ll feed you.” | “I don’t know how to get there.” | “Call me when you’re at the East Grreenwich exit off Route 4. I’ll talk you in.”
The house looks like a castle beneath the thundering sky.
she parks in front of the garage and zigzags up the heather garden
towards the porch. Sinjin comes out with an umbrella, but Miriam takes it from him and holds it behind her back. | “Your shoes will get wet.” He noticed the high heels as she stepped around the car. | She takes off the shoes and puts them in her handbag. “Better my feet than the Italian shoes.” Bites her lower lip and looks up at him, raindrops on her forehead and nose. | He laughs. “What are you doing?” | The rain trickles faster. “Getting wet. It’s May.”
They go inside. “Let me get you clothes to change into. There are towels in the top drawer.” He points to the bathroom. | She goes in and pulls her hair up, then undresses and dries off. | He knocks on the door. Two raps, then three. “I put clothes on the floor, and hangers for your weit clothes.” | Miriam opens the door and sees him walking to the kitchen in shorts and a shirt with rolled-up sleeves. No shoes. She picks up the clothes he has left on the floor. When she comes out in his drawstring pants and denim shirt, he’s in the kitchen, aproned and armed with a garlic press.
“Drai?” He glances at her. Perhaps she’ll stay the night. | “Yes, thank you.” | “Tell me about the rain.” | “My grandmother once stripped me and my sisters to our underwear, we were little, and sent us out to go, go, go!” | “In the rain?” | “She said it was the first rain in May and would bring good luck, that it was a blessing, but that meant nothing to us, so we reluctantly stepped out.
that’s agua primera de mayo. Agua is water, primera first
We asked her to come out, but she said no because she could get sick.” They walk to the couch and sit down. | “Why only May?” | “May rain comes from heaven.” | “All rain—” | “Ah-ah, let me finish. All other rain comes from the atmosphere.” | He laughs. “All right, if your grand-mother saed so.” | “Sandy, she’s the youngest, started running, and Tina and I followed. The rain pelted our head and face. After a few minutes, my grandmother yelled that that was enough and to get inside, but we kicked into high gear and ran to the front yard where a big oak tree loomed over the driveway. We danced with pumped fists and chanted like tribal warriors,” Miriam puts up her arms and sways as if she were dancing, “Mayo! Mayo! Mayo! She had to come out with a tablecloth over her head to bring us in, probably afraid we would catch cold.” Miriam stops and looks down at her hands. “Do I talk too much?” | “Not at all.” Sinjin brushes her knee with his knuckles. “That does not explain why we stood out in the rain.”
“i don’t carry an umbrella in May in honor of my grandmother”
That happened to me and one of my brothers — must ask if he remembers. There is a song in Spanish called Agua Primera de Mayo, First Rain in May, which I have always loved. I never thought I would hear it again. When music became available electronically, I couldn’t find it and was bummed. Until last year. Hearing it transports me to childhood.
And no, I do not carry an umbrella in May. I get wet.
To boot, today is raining. I had planned to post about rain in may today, so it is super neat that we have rain. I will have breakfast and step outside, maybe walk to one of the empty garden beds so that I’m ‘doing something.’ It is the first rain that matters. Should go before breakfast in case it stops.