Rain poured down on the city through the night and into morning, creating fabulous puddles throughout the streets and alleyways around my apartment. As I wrote in my journal, I allowed myself to be distracted by the rain pouncing off the leaves on the tree that overhangs our alley. The drops ran off and added to the puddles gathering in the uneven pavement below. My mind drifted to red rain boots and polka dot umbrellas. I thought of little girls splashing and laughing and being scolded for getting soaked. I knew I had my risk for the day.
As I walked to work I purposely chose to cut through one of the alleys so that I could put this risk to the test. It was still raining at this point and I could feel the water seeping through my rain boots, beginning to drench my socks. I halfheartedly splashed in a puddle, feeling the water squish between my toes. My boots seemed to have a split in them. Deciding that I didn’t want to spend my entire day at work with wet feet, I gave up on this risk.
The rain continued to pour throughout my train ride and seeing it splash against the window made me realize that I had wussed out. The real reason I didn’t fully commit to this risk is that I was afraid someone would see me. Now I really couldn’t back down. On my way home I was going to have to take every opportunity I could to splash.
The problem with this plan that I didn’t see is the rain stopping, the sun shining and no puddles being around when I finally did get out of work. I searched them out, attempting to find someway to not give up on this risk. I had no luck. After getting off the train at the stop near my place the rain began to pick up again, but I knew it would not be enough to create the kind of puddle action needed for the risk. I slumped home, a little defeated, a little disappointed and a lot drier than I thought I would be.
I had forgotten, though, about the alley near my house. There is a drain on our road that always, always backs up and even if the rest of the street has dried, the area right near this drain, where the alley meets the street, is puddly for days after a rainstorm. And today was no different. All hope was not lost.
As I got to this giant puddle I went full force, jumping up and coming down with both feet, just as I did when I was a child. I still felt the nerves of being caught doing such a socially odd thing, but it was super fun. My socks were so soaked. When I looked up I noticed a man-boy, probably no more than 20, looking at me like I was a freak. He was carrying a box to his car and he stopped, cocking his head at me the way a dog does when it’s trying to understand what the crazy humans are doing now. I didn’t say anything, allowing the judgment to pass over me. I didn’t care. I was playing.