Tuesday, March 18, 2008

More on Rain

Years ago, two friends and I spent a month in a small trailer on a bog in Ireland. The deal, made in a Galway pub, was that we'd help the owner with his farm in exchange for a place to stay - in the middle of nowhere. But it turned out that the owner, Paul, liked to smoke pot as much as we did and liked sleeping late even more.

So we worked, on average, about an hour a day. The rest of the time we spent smoking pen-sized joints (those long three-paper tobacco-and-hash jobs which, unlike California pot, relax me rather than liquify my brain) and playing cards.

It was also the wettest June on record. In Ireland.

I remember hearing on the radio, toward the end of the month, that June had received a grand total of about four hours of sunshine. Everything in the trailer was damp. The cards, the tobacco, the sugar, the tea, the salt, the bread - all of it semi soggy and semi-useable.

We listened to the radio a lot, music and voices coming from somewhere through the rain. But more than anything we listened to the rain itself, amplified in all its forms by the thin roof and walls of the trailer. Downpours were deafening. Wind-blown drizzles brushed againsts the side of the trailer in gentle waves. Heavy mists were like whispers, with the random big drops thrown in to break things up. We sat there stoned, listening, dozing, playing cards, reading, talking.

We talked about going to Spain, to Andalucia, where we'd sit on the beach in the sun. But we never went. We just sat around, and Paul would come down every day sometime before noon, and we'd ask him what work we should do and he'd say, "Ah, lets make a pot of tea." Then we'd smoke another joint and play cards. Friends from Galway would come and visit, and we'd stand out on the bog in the drizzle and look at the hills. It was perfect. I eventually did make it to Andalucia, but I don't remember much about it.


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