The leaves are slapped against the hard wet pavement, almost as though a child stuck them there, taking pieces of colored paper and firmly pressing his palm over them, the wad of glue underneath expanding to accommodate the foliage. The rain is driving down and people walk with their heads bowed, heading ever onward in the direction of something meaningful. They walk through the dark, toward the faint lights winking in the horizon. They hail cabs and gratefully shake out their wet umbrellas before climbing into the yellow safety of the taxi. The car is your refuge; it keeps you safe.
But there are some of us who prefer to taste the rain. Grungy, our wet hair streaking over our shoulders, our eyes rimmed with the faint smear of nearly washed-off eyeliner, our nails cut short and unpainted, wearing boots that are far too big for us, if they are even boots at all. In my case, they are slippers. I’ve paired these with a pair of black pants, and a black skirt thrown over for effect. And I walk the night, to embrace its darkness, to become acquainted with it and it with me. Within that darkness I can feel myself alive, and there is the faintest touch of a shimmer about me. But I’m the only one who knows it is there.
I shake out my hair and smile, the rain blinding me. Tears shed by an anguished God, liquid mercury droplets that have lost their silver shine as they slip through the sky and onto my nose, my tongue. I shiver and lick my lips, the taste of tainted water on them. Water beads on my nose, my cheeks, slips slyly down my face. It rings my wrists and forms a bracelet, dabs patches of shadow on my sweatshirt. I put the hood up, walk with my head to the ground. I admire the concrete and its slick, slippery sheen, the coating of a newly-waxed floor. Everything is alive again, and in that living I rejoice.
I am seized by an impossible desire to run, as though by doing so I can outrun my fate. I can dance ever onward in darkness, in the storm that embraces me and stirs something in my soul. There is light around me, light beside me, light that wreathes me and becomes me. Can’t you see it? It’s the faintest shimmer of something red, tingling, just there, at the edge of my fingertips, and then see how it forms into a chain, becoming golden, then a deep emerald green, then blue once more, the flaming blue of a spark lapping at coals, kindling its own blaze. I am warm then, the light on my eyes, around me, within me, and submerged in light, I fall deep, beyond the sidewalk with its plastered-on leaves, the paint that makes the colors run, into a dreamy universe conceived of by a master, understood only by His lover.
If you were to picture a fairy, picture her like this: a child dwarfed by an oversized coat, or perhaps a sweatshirt, her hair fanning out across her shoulders, dripping wet from the rain, her large blue eyes opened to take in the world, her fingers delicate, with short and unadorned nails. See her practical rainboots, which reach to the knee, take in her waifish appeal, and the hunger in her gaze. This is your fairy, but you can only find her if you dare the rain for an evening…and refuse the cab.