Pressing no. 40

Wet Clothes
Wet Clothes, 2008

Stormy Weather

Twat. I chuck my Cons and socks into the bath and start to peel my trousers off of my ankles. Thankfully the greatcoat didn’t let a drop through, and I can pad into the kitchen in my shirt and boxers to turn the heating on.

The rain had gotten heavier while I was walking down Muswell Hill, and the road and pavement flowed inch-deep. I scurried under the old railway bridge for shelter, dripping. On the opposite side of the road a girl about my age emerged from the bridleway, pulled along by a puppy that look poised to drown any minute. We look at each other for a second, and I see she’s soaked in a way only low-rent models in low-rent lads mags ever seem. Her legs are so spindly and fragile that I wonder if they even connect to her body, if instead her rain-tight clothes act like a carapace, replacing joints. My act of reduction, I suppose, and I will never know what hers was. I think we’re embarrassed for each other, exchanging looks of pity, grimaces and shrugs before going separate ways.

When the first flash-crack split the sky a weirdly primal urge took me out into the storm. There’s supposed to be something romantic about the weather, but my only memory of kissing in the rain is ten years old. Now the rain’s spraying against the skylight like babies fists and the noise bounces around the corridor, darking me out.

© Matthew Sheret, 2008

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