|box of rain
and it's just a box of rain or a ribbon for your hair
There's a bottle of Maker's Mark sitting on the railing of the porch, raindrops rolling down its surface. It's only half full, and he hasn't bothered to screw the cap back on Ð no point if you're just going to pick it back up and take another long pull as soon as you're finished smoking.
It doesn't rain like this in Southern California, but it has been raining for three days with no signs of letting up, and Viggo is sitting on his porch, feet on the railing framing the bottle, listening to the creak of the rocking chair against the floorboards. His feet are damp; there's rain running over from gutters that aren't made to handle this sort of downpour.
As long as the rain doesn't drip into the bottle or onto his cigarette, he can't really bring himself to care.
He's been sitting on the porch since it started raining. The ashtray is overflowing, there's an empty bottle of Maker's tipped onto its side by the door. The first day, the phone rang and rang and he didn't answer it. He's watching the rain come down in sheets instead, and before he fell asleep in his chair that night, he stumbled inside and unplugged every phone he could find, shoved his cell phone into a drawer, and crawled back to the porch to sleep to the sound of the rain.
On the afternoon in the second day, the clouds shifted and the rain slowed and the sun peered down. An unexpected sunshower, a curtain of mist that shone with so many tiny rainbows that he wasn't sure where to look. Ten minutes of shimmering water hanging in the air, and then the sun slid back behind a cloud and the curtain of water poured down again.
Viggo closed his eyes and lit a joint and let the sunshower burn against the back of his eyelids, and when he opened his eyes again, the joint had burned out and the sky had gone dark. He relit the joint and carried it inside; when he plugged his answering machine back in, there were four messages from Orlando and one from Dominic, and he yanked the cord back out of the wall without returning any of them.
The second night, he falls asleep on the couch under the front windows, and the wind whips up in the middle of the night. At four AM, he wakes suddenly and his face is damp and the rain is blowing sideways through the screens.
He leaves the windows open and turns his face up towards the sky.
The wind has stopped on the third morning, and the rain is letting up. He sets the bottle of Maker's on the railing and leans back in the chair, rain running across his toes. It takes him three lazy hours to mostly empty the bottle, and two more smoking, blowing rings at the sky, before the rain slows to drips and drops.
It isn't a miraculous ending worthy of an ark and a dove; the sky stays grey even after the last drops fall. Viggo lets the last of the bourbon slide down his throat and it burns all the way down.
Tomorrow's just another day without rain.
Author's notes: Title, summary and epigraph for the Grateful Dead's "Box of Rain". For cee, because, and for JJ, also because. ♥