Angry thoughts on a rainy day.
As water drips from my hair onto my clothes, I feel a crunch beneath my feet. A woman glares.
I look down. “Sorry.”
Her umbrella has become a casualty of the crowded train. Maybe I’m supposed to feel bad about stepping on it, but it’s cold and I’m sopping wet and I don’t give a damn.
On the tram, I press the button to signal the driver that my stop is next. The rain is heavier than before. I wrap my scarf around my head in the hope that it will offer me a little protection during the three block dash to the post office.
A man taps me on the shoulder. “Excuse me,” he says.
I give a polite smile. Inside I begin ranting about how much I hate being touched by strangers for no reason. Outside, I try not to look scary. Apparently my default look is a glare.
“You shouldn’t wear your scarf like that. It’s offensive.”
Now it’s my turn to say “excuse me”.
“Them lot won’t like it if you make fun of their religion. Especially with skulls and that.”
I immediately think two things: 1. Surely summarising an entire cultural group with the phrase “them lot” is offensive in itself; 2. So this means I don’t look like Thelma and/or Louise with a fashionable scarf covering my hair? Damn. I thought I was being both clever and stylish.
The tram stops. I pull the scarf off my head as I exit. Despite the fact that I’ve done exactly what this man asked of me, he feels the need to call out: “Bitch.”
I hang my coat in front of the heater, and my scarf over a chair. Water is dripping down my face. She watches me, sympathetically.
“You need an umbrella!”
It’s a polite suggestion, made with the best of intentions. She honestly believes she’s being helpful.
I’ve spent an hour and a half in the pouring rain. Of course I need a fucking umbrella. I’m not standing there thinking, why didn’t I come up with that – an umbrella, of all things?! No, I’m standing there, with a fucking puddle beneath my feet, fully aware of the existence – and usefulness – of umbrellas. Knowing that my own umbrellas – yes, plural – are sitting at home, right by my front door. But it wasn’t raining when I left home, was it? No. And I didn’t see the point in carrying an umbrella, only to sit in an office all day and then take the train home again. Maybe my reasoning differs from yours, but I don’t usually see the need for an umbrella when 98% of my day is spent indoors. Yes, today was different, because today I had to check the PO Box before work, but I didn’t really think of that when getting ready this morning. My fault, I didn’t think. You’re right, I need an umbrella. Silly me. Silly old me. I am so fucking cold and wet. Why are we still going on about umbrellas?!
I shiver, and force another smile – the second one for the day. “Yes, an umbrella would have been nice.”
I may love to sing along to “Only Happy When It Rains”, but damn this wet weather can make me really fucking angry for no reason sometimes. Calm the fuck down, woman. Calm the fuck down.