The rain is pouring out of buckets onto Brewery Lane. A variety of figures hustle through the weather, toward dryness. Steps muffled and umbrellas drummed form a melody in the deafening staccato of pounding water, drop by drop. Clouds dropping the weight ascend ascend to leave the city below drenched and dimmed.
A closer look, though, reveals that not all are made equal in the onslaught of the downpour: there is the newspaper boy, hustling to get his merchandise out of harm’s way, as is the baker. Neither try to fend off the rain, pure damage control.
There are business women and men straining to keep smart suits and blouses out of the splash, hurrying into cars and cabs, the clicking tenor of heels on wet pavement.
There are children out playing, ignoring parental warning and threat. They jump from puddle to puddle, enjoying the funny droplets from above.
There are clerks and store-goers rushedly heaving heavy coats and umbrellas and other protective devices out of their cars to fend off water from their enterprises: loosely-bound books to be returned, slips to be waived and goods to be delivered or picked up.
They all hustle up and down Brewery Lane, flocking under store awnings and into doorways, waiting for an opportunity. To step out is to be left alone, fight your own battle. To stay is to keep company, to grieve for the loss of an afternoon.