…This is a story that I can tell, if I will, for I was there the entire time. We were walking in the rain. The rain itself seemed displeased about it. The rain itself seemed bitter, annoyed, sullen; annoyed by its own raininess, I mean.
My girlfriend. Was it Valentine’s Day, or is that an additional fact that I am making up after the fact. I can’t remember. My memory is not what it used to be — not anymore, not now. Girlfriend. The rain. Walking. …Such a stink of artifice.
“I’m sick of this raincoat,” my girlfriend said. I should mention here the fact that it wasn’t raining very hard, but I’d just as soon rather not, if that’s okay with you. Just hard enough to ruin most things.
“Sick of it,” she said. So she took it off. It was a struggle, for the raincoat was tight, and heavy. People stared. “I’ve never even liked raincoats,” she said. “So ugly.”
I was worried that she wasn’t talking about the raincoat but was rather talking about the two of us.
“Are you really going to do that,” I said. “Like that?” For she had now entirely shed the raincoat and was placing it on the sidewalk, as people stared. Her retro yellow rain-slicker. “Shouldn’t you leave that for a homeless person,” I thought, or maybe said.
“You know how I feel about raincoats. So ugly. Like couches.”
“Sofas,” I murmured.
“So ugly, you know how I feel about them. Raincoats, couches. I’ve always hated them. They don’t move the heart.”
“You’re going to be getting wet,” I pointed out redundantly.
We were still walking. The wind picked up, as chance would have it. I glanced back at the yellow rain-slicker, lying there sadly on the charcoal-dark sidewalk.
“Maybe we should give it a proper burial,” I said.
“Don’t be mawkish,” she said.
How could you not love a girl who used the word ‘mawkish’?
The wind picked up even more. Now she would be wet and cold. I kept staring back. The wind ruffled the yellow thing, moving one arm.
“What do you keep staring at?” she said.
“The raincoat,” I said. “It’s waving bye-bye.”
There was so much more to say — but then we rounded the corner, and I was left to imagine the rest. Which is how so many conversations end, don’t you know, or don’t you think. Or how they all end. With you imagining the rest; all those finishings, all those days. …Anyway; the end; finis; ave atque and vale.
The removal of the raincoat.
Utter dissolution of all things.