Day 073: Rain Racers
I don’t remember where I was going, but I’ll always remember where I was. It was a long, endless ride in the back of a van. Sitting sideways, I had no idea where we were or how much longer it would be. I already flipped sides on my cassette 3 times, which made me halfway through my second loop of MTV Buzz Bin Volume 1. The moody alternative music fit well with the dreary backdrop. Just a dark and rainy day, much like this one. Riding down the anonymous highways of Michigan without a care in the world, with the exception of the looming boredom.
With not much left to do, I focused on the raindrops travelling sideways across the window. Some bigger than others, they made their way across the glassy terrain. They all moved with their own pace and personality. The bigger ones tended to move slower but last much longer than the small ones. But every now and then, a large drop would come barreling through, absorbing more small ones as it rocketed past. These ones were always the most exciting to see, the true athletes of the bunch. The Professional Rain Racer.
Eventually, the rain poured harder and Aunt Nancy picked up her speed. This caused concurrent Racers to line up at the windshield and have a bout for the ages. Not knowing them from the beginning, I had no frame of reference to who these racers were or their backgrounds. They were just faceless, nameless warriors brought here for my entertainment. It reminded me of when my Dad would watch his nightly horse racing on PASS Sports. I didn’t know anything about the horses, but it was relaxing to see them compete.
I tried my best to come up with backstories in my head, mostly in the format of Nickelodeon Guts. One Racer was from Kentucky. I don’t know why I remember that. Because there were constant races going on, it was hard for me to come up with an elaborate hype package for each Racer. But I tried my best. In one of the final races, it seemed like the Racer on the top was going to win by a mile. But then one sprinted across the bottom seemingly out of nowhere and gave the top Racer a run for its money. Absorbing stalled out drops along the way, they were neck and neck before the photo finish.
In the end, the top Racer won, but it was much closer than we all expected. I bet the runner up was really proud of itself. After all the time being put down and told that it would never amount to anything, it prevailed and almost tasted the gold. I bet it’s spouse cooked it a hearty dinner and kissed it on the forehead for a job well done. I bet the winner was haunted by the close race. It had to carry on with a newfound doubt in itself, wondering when the time would come that he loses a race or even gets absorbed himself. I wondered if they had a grudge match on the back window. Or if photo evidence showed that the winner had cheated.
Sitting in the rain, watching the drops fall down the window, the possibilities are endless. All you have to do is open your eyes and interpret what you’re seeing. As I sat on the couch today, staring down a blank draft, my attention shifted to the window. One by one, the rain drops sprinted downwards. But with the small window, it was more like a drag race. This time, I realized the truth. What happens when they cross the finish line? They cease to be. The all meld together into one wet blob. The life of a Rain Racer is such a brief and wondrous existence. And they always do it for an audience of none. That is, unless you open your eyes.