Hard, horizontal rain and the broken umbrella with one spoke sticking out, sharp-edged and pointed. Hot coffee down the front on my dress, first-day impressions undone in the humidity, rain, unexpected and unplanned for, I should have known, I should have known. Duck into the bathroom to run my fingers through my hair before I walk through the office door and slink into the seat in the corner, next to the empty desk with the empty chair. I could wait for years and he'd never slip into that chair, I am learning, I am learning. I could wait for years and I would still have the desk in the corner, I am learning, I am learning. I worry about this summer with the too-long hours and the studying and the rain and the rain and the rain. How many years have passed and the summer rain still undoes me. Clouds gray all day. At 5pm it downpours, and I suddenly wish for a place on that old couch in the old apartment with the rain slamming its fists against the window. There I had a place on the bathroom floor and the faucet I could turn on to muffle the sounds of my sobs. And no one knew, and no one knew.
It's a click here and a click there and the end comes, brilliant with a plus in front of the first letter, the first letter, and this should have been a celebration, success of this kind in its highest form, but I learned long, long ago to measure success differently. Of course, these days I've failed. Failed in the largest way possible because I feel like I've failed. New foundations of measured success, abandoned, step one: "beyond a wholesome discipline, be kind to yourself." I am back to step one and suddenly relieved to have the chair empty beside me, to be sitting in the corner. Drenched by the rain, wearing my morning coffee, reciting Desiderata. Over and over again.