The rain is coming down in sheets. As I turn the corner by the church down the street from the house, I see this young mom with an umbrella in one hand and a toddler in her other. She is moving briskly toward the doors. I lift off the gas a sec just to watch them trying to make it. The kid is all bundled up in winter crap. I can’t even see if it’s a boy or a girl or what. But I recognize something that makes me smile.
The kid has the slouch of a 3-year-old who is just digging the ride. Sensing Mom’s despair a little, I suspect, the kid is entertained. The kid is curious as to what will transpire. The rain dampens the sound of living, tamps it down into a muted white noise that lulls the sleepy and bores the spry. Kids in this state: they let their arms dangle free and loose like a couple gas station night crawlers slipping down out of that styrofoam hellhole. Young eyes sparkle when the chips are half down; little kids pick up on their parent’s aura and what transpires, invisibly, remarkably, is this kind of reading of the essences. I don’t know how it works, man. I don’t know how snot-nosed booger-crust post-Christmas helpless humans who can’t even tie a shoe or piss in the toilet yet can manage to raise their weak-ass nectarine fists to the high voltage wires that connect their mom or dad’s human force with the much grander collective flow of harmony/disharmony fighting it out in the streets, but they can. Wherever we go, wherever we end up, the kids can feel us more than we can feel them.
It is a gift, I guess. A skill, I suppose, but more like a gift, I would say. Because it allows young guns to peer shamelessly into a parent’s mind and heart and central nervous system with only a biologically simple, but powerful, understanding of what they are in fact looking at when they do it.
And that alone causes most kids at that age (2-4ish) to lean back like a gangsta being carried by a Godzilla, in order to take in, with calm slightly outlaw-y eyes, whatever the hell is about to unfold right before them as a result of the fact that: for example: it’s pissing down rain on a gloomy Tuesday morning powered by an unseasonable balminess. The whole thing wraps around my throat and squeezes slightly. I like it. You know I like it rough like that. I like it when things happen out of nowhere; I feel so brought back to life on those unexpected mornings when I turn a corner and I see a mom carrying a kid and an umbrella and the rain is tapping my windshield and my wipers are moving back and forth/ back and forth/ back and forth/ murrrrp/ marrrrp/ murrrp/ marrrp/ murrrp/ marrrp and I gather/ intrinsically/ instantly/ what the scene is about. How it ought to look on the stage (exactly like this/ with real fake rain pummeling the floorboards).
And maybe who wrote the damn thing.