So my eyes are kind of stinging.
Wanna know why?
It’s raining this morning. Not just raining – occasionally it is pouring, and also occasionally there is a monsoon. And a bit of lightning.
So anyway, earlier, when Bill had to leave for work, the monsoon phase of this morning’s precipitation was well under way.
And since I was too lazy to put out the big trash bin and the almost-as-big green recycle bin last night, I had to do it this morning. Green is for paper products, in case you were wondering. These big bins are kind of rectangular, they hold like a trillion gallons of stuff, and there are two wheels on the bottom so you can tilt them back a bit and roll them down to the street easily. The lids are hinged at the back of the top, where the handle is that you push them with. Got that? The visual? Good.
So I go outside when Bill is going out, and first thing I notice, besides all the trees bending over sideways and a few houses spinning up into the sky toward Oz, is the gushing water spraying sideways from the low corner of the roof, right there on the same side as the driveway.
Oh yeah, that’s right, the downspout fell off. So the water that is rapidly accumulating in the gutter no longer has a nice straight path to take in order to get back to earth. No, it just pours out of a hole up there, and with all this hurricane-force wind this morning, naturally it can’t go straight – it sprays out sideways like an EXTRA rainstorm right across the driveway.
I stood there with the green recycle bin, waiting for my husband (who chooses just the BEST moments to become slower than snails) is arranging himself in the car and adjusting everything – the seat, mirrors, radio, CD/radio selection, and checking his nails for dirt. Then he is looking at me like he needs to tell me something – maybe something like – "Gee, Jayne, you sure look completely drenched, standing out there in the rain waiting for me to finally back out of the driveway already!" So I move closer to the car, thinking he will UNLOCK the door so I can hear his piece of important information, but no, he doesn’t do that – he merely points to the few big rain splatters on his otherwise perfectly dry coat and gives me a look like "Wow, it’s pretty rainy out here, huh?"
I nod and roll my eyes and wave him along.
At last hs is backing away, and I start to follow, pushing the tilted-back green recycle bin and bracing myself for the sideways water spraying from the near corner of the roof. And just as I am going through that bit of pleasantness, a giant gust of wind blows across the front of the house, several of the neighbors’ cars flip over and roll down the street, helpless – and – the lid of the recycle bin snaps up and hits me right in the face. Hard.
That was real fun. I pushed the lid back down and rubbed my head and wondered if Bill might stop the car and take a moment to make sure I was okay.
Hahahahahahaha. No, he didn’t.
So I continued pushing the recycle bin through the storm to the end of the driveway.
I was drenched. In my LL Bean boots, my pajamas, and my corduroy coat. Drenched.
I got the bin to the curb (if we actually had a curb. We don’t. It’s more like where the dirt meets the asphalt.) and turned to go and get the gray trash bin. Just as I got back to the sideways water spraying from the gutter, I heard a loud thud and turned to see that the recycle bin – though it was 3/4 full of old magazines, junk mail, newspapers and other paper stuff – had been knocked over by the raging wind and the top layer of paper stuff fell out into – yes – the rushing river that used to be the street. Coupon inserts and layers of newspapers tried to fly away, past our driveway, but the heavy rain was too much for them and they lost momentum and fluttered, defeated, down into the water.
I stood there in the rain and just stared for a minute at the mess before grumpily picking up all the soggy paper and righting the fallen bin.
By now the rain was pouring down my face, in my eyes, blinding me, and I staggered back up the driveway to the house. I went inside and Alex, who apparently had been watching my little show, called out that I forgot to fix two other bins that had fallen over. (Further up the street). I told him it’s not my job to stand up everyone’s trash bins and to go downstairs and play. I wiped the puddles out of my eyes and went back out to bring the trash bin to the road. I was going to just leave it, but for some reason I thought that would mean the monsoon had defeated me, and I wasn’t about to let that happen.
So back out I went, through the monsoon, and the sideways spray from the gutter, into the raging river of our street. Fortunately the trash can didn’t fall over. I made my way through the gushing, blowing March rain and into the house, my eyes closed again, leaking rainwater. I took off the soggy coat. I wiped my eyes – which are still stinging from the water and the wind – and got into some dry clothes.
And that’s the end of my story.