The rain is warm tonight. I didn't need much of an excuse to get me outside in it, or to the sea front, past the patch of green at the end of my road and the ornate shelter where two figures were standing side by side, their heads low, murmuring.
Still I took out the rubbish bag to sling in the huge plastic green tub behind my house, and held that as my excuse, despite the fact I've never before felt the need to empty my bin at seven thirty at night. And knowing that, it made me laugh out loud, because when I was nine, I never needed a reason to be in the rain.
And I am a signpost in the humid dark, white froth lapping at my toes. The sky is empty of stars. As I watch, several thousand layers all come falling, a series of images: birth and ceasing monuments and facts and figures, and timeless shadowing of this life line, and the line is interrupted by a bang that never stops flinging itself into unknowability. We are here. That is there. Uncompromising universe I could fit myself into, if it would only let me. But I am a signpost in the humid dark. The universe is gaping. Too many equations. We can never sew it up.
And the reason I am standing here isn't even because I want to feel this rain on my face, or on my back, or my hands. It isn't because of the way the sea is stretching into a black nothing, so that I feel infinite, travelling, unsung and triumphantly lost. It isn't even because of the way the liquid in the air mixes with the evening heat to give off a quiet radiance, a gentle buzz, a comfort...
Little reasons and big reasons fill our universe up, and maybe that's why it burst in the first place: too many reasons and not enough, all bickering inside a point as small as the end of the end of your nose. Too much certainty inside a void. Too much void inside certainty. Too much that is too little, swimming with what is never lost, but always going. The balloon fills the box, the box is always breaking.
And I'll try and tame what surrounds me. It will become a poetic universe, of dark matter and rainbow light. But this is still my equation, my lassoo, my very own reason. I bring my mother and my father to all creation, the kids at school who thought I wasn't too bright, a yearning for the sublime, the shock of existing.
Wah wah baby coming out the womb. Old man dying. People on the roadside, diseased, raw sewage sliding by. I will make it add up, I will make it all add up. I will bargain with an unfeeling universe, else, without reason, it all grows too cold, too cold for human habitation. An icy galaxy, deathly, alone, feeble, wandering. A crack in time is all we are for. A bang that lasts as long as the pieces are travelling... then, what?
The rain is warm tonight. And stars hum, distant and unseeable. Micro waves fill the furthest reaches of world, beyond air, reflecting the face of our immediate birth. It doesn't take that much to see them, if you turn in the right direction.
I need no reason to be here. I need to reason to love. No reason to die. I need no reason to book a cheap airline ticket and fly to New York next month, nor to come back again.
And I am a signpost in the humid dark, white froth lapping at my toes.
I never needed a reason to be in the rain.