“Rain sucks when you’re homeless,” Ferret told me this afternoon down at his campsite by the river.
The sky was grey and foretold rain on the way. We had an 80 percent chance of severe weather and storms. Ferret was blasé about the whole affair, and was more worried about being stuck in his tent for a few hours without beer.
“Let’s walk up to the shopping center,” I said. “You will stay dry up there.”
“Nah,” Ferret said. “I think I am going to lie down and take a nap.”
I left Ferret after helping him seam seal and waterproof his tent and walked back up towards home. The sky was now very dark, ominously dark. I worried I would get caught in a downpour any moment. I heard the first rumble of thunder and my heart sank. I love adverse weather. I just don’t like standing out amidst it without shelter.
It did start to rain and rain hard it did. I fumbled inside my backpack until I finally pulled out my little foldable umbrella. Its canopy was not quite large enough to shield me from the rain and I got soaking wet. Luckily, I was only about ten minutes from my house. I would cringe at every strike of lightning as I was holding what would pass as a fair lightning rod. I arrived home unscathed, but shaken.
My heart went out to Ferret today. I could remember being homeless during a rain storm and all you could do was lay in your tent and wait it out. If you didn’t have books or a radio then it was one boring predicament. The good thing about drinking when I was a homeless drunk was that it passed the time. I spent many a rainy day curled up in my tent nursing a few twelve packs of ice beer. Then, I would sleep drunkenly until the storms passed. Often until next morning to start the whole process all over again.