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  • Writer's pictureAubrey Clyburn

Please Rain On My Parade

Quarantine diary, day ?


The house has become warm and damp and stifling so I put on a dress and flush myself into outside air that feels exactly the same as the inside air but with a note of chill, at least. Uncertain, lonely raindrops land among the freckles of my arms and I hope they will be followed by violent swarms, that I will get soaked through and fall down the hill and get hit by a car, just so I can claim that something has happened to me. (I can hear it hushing now, bustling in the air above me, growing but I do not feel it yet, please god please, don't stop don't stop - and it dies.) I pass tiny white clumps of baby's breath and I long to be that minute and delicate.


I am playing at poetess, with my little leather bag and cork-covered journal, venturing to sit quiet in the woods so I can foist my padded-heavy thoughts onto paper. The sidewalk is not quite six feet wide, but the runner and I give pathetic brave grimaces and pretend it is. A brief foray along an inexplicably still-busy road (it is 3:00 on a Saturday, what essential business have you all) and then I am pressing through green, refusing to use the gravel path twelve feet away, praying that I will duck under a branch and straighten up to see Narnia. Then, tinned music, and voices, at the top of the hill where I was going to sit. I hate them, dully, for being human. I feel the stickiness of my neck and hate it in myself too. The runner with the dog, I do not hate. His hair is curly and so is mine, and I like it on him.


I breathe loud enough to hear for the first time all day.


The air feels dirty in my throat. I want these woods to be real, and to extend for leagues - a fantastical measurement - in every direction, so that pavement and glass bottles cannot be found no matter how long I walk. I want to be dropped from a helicopter into a vast green plain and left there. I want to be exposed for the elements and for them to consume me mercilessly. I would rather be struck by lightning or swallowed by a tree than die indoors today.


There - rain!

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