Rain

It finally rained a little yesterday. It’s strange, I never seem to see the rain. It becomes something else. I usually see only wet sidewalks, streets, the moistened-over gravel, only a dab of a shade darker than when it is dry, it seems like. A cloudy gray puddle fills up a pothole. The sky is the same color of gray. My sand tinted car is parked outside, in my driveway, ensconced under tiny, sparkling droplets of dew, and when I open the driver’s side door and try to get in, my right leg always steps in the grass in the lawn next to the concrete driveway, the cold, rough, wet blades of the sea green St Augustine grass pawing at my calf. Then I know it had rained. From these traces, signs, keepsakes of the storm.

In Central Texas, it seems the rain falls only in the middle of the night. My curtains are drawn over my window by the bed, and I would often be woken up during the night by the rain, in fits, one wave after another, splashing against the laminated glass, like the click-clacking of beads on an abacus. Erratic, and abstract. Just sound, no picture. In the morning, I would have forgotten all of this. It’s not until I go out of the house, and see the scattered odds and ends the storm left behind all about my house, that I’ll fit together these two pieces of phenomena.

I watched Blade Runner for the first time late last night. One of the androids said as he was dying: ‘All those moments will be lost, in time, like tears, in the rain.’ Los Angeles in 2019 seems to be eternally drenched in rain. Torrential rain, unrelenting—real window washers, sheets and sheets and sheets. I couldn’t help wondering what their budget for water was. As it was raining outside, it was also raining on television.

by HC Hsu

from Middle of the Night, a book in the works to appear from Deerbrook Editions sometime in 2015
also author of Love is Sweeter, http://lethepressbooks.com/

Parallel

You get on.

You don’t see me.

You take the seat two rows in front of me.

I see your backside, the back of your head, your dark brown, somewhat frizzed and wavy hair. For some reason, I don’t tap you on the back, or your shoulder (I see you turn around—surprised, smiling, your eyes sparkling, an underwater cavernous limestone blue—‘Hey, when did you get on?’ you ask, and try to stand up as you jolt forward, your body leaving your seat, as you find a way to balance yourself and move toward me)—but I stay still, and we remain where we are.

I watch you. I don’t see your face. It’s a strange feeling, as if I were no longer me, or were somewhere else completely, or I had simply disappeared, evaporated, from here and now. It occurs to me I had never up until then, seen you. In your completeness.

In your solitude.

I wonder what you are like without me.

Yourself plus the world minus me.

 

by HC Hsu

from Middle of the Night, a book in the works to appear from Deerbrook Editions sometime in 2015
also author of Love is Sweeter, http://lethepressbooks.com/

He also has a translation of Chinese dissident and 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo’s official biography coming out in 2015 by Rowman & Littlefield.