The rivulets raced each other down the outside of the window. They went smoothly over their well-traced paths, gathering other drops on their descent: recruiting troops for gravity’s march. If it had been dusty, like it used to be, rain would be a welcome novelty. Like it used to be: dust caked like a skin, water tapping like a sculptor’s hammer. Dry earth stripped, old layers left surprised and raw.
But no more. This whole town was a living thing, too fluid for bones, too transient for identity. The rain came, and no revelations came with it, just the smooth flow of one thing to another. She let her focus relax, and she saw the rain on the glass, then her own face. It was something she knew too well. Features that slid into background noise. Her well of feelings.
A bowl of old soup lay untouched on her bedside cabinet. The unstable atmosphere had lent pockmarks to its surface, clotting it into something volcanic. She had meant to empty it, but it had remained, like an old and stubborn thought. Her legs felt chalky under her nightdress; when she moved them together they sniffed like corduroy. All around her, this desiccative cold.
She longed for the mosquito-heat of long ago, spiralling like smoke, reaching under clothes to tickle your skin and sweat. Heat that was bright and joyous, the celebration of an endless season.
She licked her lips, and pressed her forehead to the window. The glass gave in with a small bump. She closed her eyes, and the water on the shore came to her, the shore that washed beneath her window. Her thoughts were rippled tide foam. Something would change, she thought. Something must.