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Derek Best has contributed to several publications, including Macleans Magazine Canada, and Omni Magazine, USA. He is has also produced many documentary films for Television. For many years, he has been interested in A Course in Miracles, a metaphysical thought system, and maintains the official website for that organization. "ACIM", he says "is central to my personal way of seeing the world." This site is strictly personal however. Derek has an eclectic range of interests, and writes about them here as the mood strikes him.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

No V8.

Diagonal rain beats a tattoo on the windows. The living room breathes in soft shadow. I'm reclined on the sofa listening to the burbles and splatters of a wet afternoon. In a world made up entirely of places and things, there is no place to go and no-thing to do. I am roaming mentally. Decades ago there was a hallway that seemed always defined by the morning sunlight streaming through a transom. Where did the hallway go when it rained? It is nowhere in memory's lost labyrinths. There were sullen afternoons where the clouds welled up like bruises over the poplar trees, and in the dark still before the storm I was afraid and wanted to go home. There was a night when the heavens opened up their canons and shot forth fire and sound that shook the streets. I remember a train station and me huddled under a scalloped canopy, shivering and peering at the slashing rain, trying to choose a time to dash between the lightning bolts. I remember running through the streets of Boston in a blinding downpour, finally succumbing to nature, no longer trying to dodge the drops, but taking a langorous natural bath in all my clothes, feeling the rivers of heaven streaming down my face, my neck, my shirt, my legs, filling my shoes, trying to wash me into the streets along with the dust and debris of the day. I remember a glass frame in a garden, used to grow -- I think -- cucumbers, smashed by the sheer weight of water after its three thousand foot trajectory from the skies above. I remember a mathematics class where the rain outside was so spectacular that all eyes turned to the window to gape, and the teacher was reduced to sarcasm "Haven't you seen rain before?" I remember three soggy days of windless rain on a small sailboat, and we four small boys reduced to sitting in the tiny cabin quoting Coleridge: "water water everywhere" while the tarpaulins flapped and dripped. I remember coming out of the Paris Metro one spring day and being met by a tidal wave of runoff from a sudden storm, crashing down the steps sending commuters screeching back into the tunnels to wring themselves dry and regroup. There was a car my father had which always stalled when driven through any kind of standing water; nevertheless he would venture forth fearlessly in the worst of weather, somehow never dreaming history would repeat itself. There were afternoons in Florida when the palette of the sky turned to black ink and the rain was so intense it was impossible to tell where the sky ended and the ocean began. I had an employee who always hid under the desk till the thunder passed, convinced the day of judgment was nigh. Now he is a priest, presumably telling everyone it really is nigh. I should have been a priest, or "a pair of ragged claws, scuttling across ocean floors." I could have been a priest. I could'a been a contender. I could'a had a V8. I could'a, I would'a, I should'a. Hell - one day I will! But right now I'm too comfortable on my sofa listening to the rain.


Anonymous marian said...

That was very cinematic. I don't know if I could do that -- if my memory would work that way. I think not. Nice read, Derek.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was the perfect literary description of pure lazzziiiness! It was so beautiful I forgot that you were doing NOTHING! I cant' wait until the next time it rains. I'm going to conjure up a volume II to match you volume I. Fantastic use of words!

4:25 PM  
Anonymous A friend said...

"No V8" is beautifully written. I agree with anonymous. A very enjoyable read.

9:08 PM  
Anonymous RovingCritic said...

I want to add my voice to this chorus. This was one of the nicest, most appropriate, most unpretentious uses of stream-of-consciousness writing I've found in a long time. Well done Derek. If you are not a writer you should be.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous a friend said...

As Rovingcritic writes "you should be a writer"

6:38 PM  
Anonymous a friend said...

As Rovingcritic writes "you should be a writer"

6:39 PM  
Blogger lu said...

Lovely prose.

After reading I settled back into my chair, when I turned to stare out the window and let it sit for a bit, the sunshine felt a bit disappointing, I expected the downpour to continue.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous derek said...

Thank you to all for the very kind words and thoughts. The "rain" piece was not intended to be anything special - just a comma between other thoughts. But commas can take on a life of their own I guess. According to George W. Bush, the entire Iraq war will be seen by future generations as a comma.
Love and kisses... D.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. Reading your thoughts about Days of Heaven was intimately satisfying, and, well, not unlike watching that divine masterpiece of cinema. Dear Sir. You are and artist. The two paths you speak of must be the same.

7:03 PM  


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