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A Threat of Rain

Page 2

Bernard Peasley

I never see him looking out. He doesn’t stand by the window, a coffee in his hand, peering left or right, up to the clouds, or down into the street. He doesn’t seem interested in the outside world. He never looks at me.

But today is different. He is standing by the window, hands in his pockets, looking in my direction. He’s been there for so long now that I almost feel compelled to wave. But I could never do that.

He took up that position just after the morning news. The latest virus cases are worse than yesterday. World leaders are arguing, State Premiers are blaming. The weather forecast hasn’t helped. The threat will come from the west, as it always does – straight down this street that separates us.

When the rain started he turned and looked in my direction. Perhaps he is not deaf. Perhaps he heard the news too, or even the rain. If I tilt my head past the edge of my monitor I can see him with just one eye. He’s still there, motionless. What could he be thinking?

This rain is heavy, falling straight down, cleansing. I can see it sheeting off the windowed facade of his building, blurring my view of him. What could it be about today that made him leave his work, stand up and look out the window in my direction? I feel I should acknowledge his initiative, but how would he interpret my wave, after all this time?

There is something very strange going on with this weather today. It is doing something I have never seen here before. There is no rain on my windows – in fact there is no rain on my building. He is being rained on, but I am not. He can see that I am in the clear and that there is even sun streaming into my apartment.

I stand up, move to my window and look directly at him. He smiles and waves at me.

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