Once I awoke I felt the cool air pool at my feet, as if dipping them in cold water. The end of the bed leads to an open window, outside the sounds of pitter-patter, the absolute grey of the sky beyond. It wasn’t your ferocious concrete grey, but the slight touch of impurity mixed into white. There was nothing beyond this tainted white, only an infinite expanse of uniform cloud, stretched over the sky like cling wrap over a Tupperware world.
I wriggle my toes, the edge of the blanket slips off the top of my knees. I turn over again before sitting up. The cool air wafts into the room when I open my room door, an intimate gushing in. I walk down the corridor and stand by the window at the end. The grey has seeped through into the suite, into the walls and onto me, washing me over with ash. I take a deep breath at the ledge, breathing in dampness. I hold on to the ledge, as leaves flutter in the distance, trees small when viewed from the ninth floor. The pulse of the rain quickens, a hushed conversation growing more intense as more secrets are exchanged. The dull sky speaks. The air channels in, cooling our endeavours once more. The buildings are less bright, less shiny, less perfect. In the distance things that were once clear and defined have been shrouded in mist and blurred. We, in turn, are made less perfect. Rain has a peculiar scent that is neither pronounced nor insignificant. She invigorates the land and as the land breaths we smell her breath. We are made to listen to her as she drowns out everything else. Walking to Foodclique, there was a devastating quiet that hung over U-Town. But then it wasn’t exactly quiet, not vacuous by any means, but the pounding of rain emanating background noise that cancelled everything else out, that made our voices rounded at the edges. She made our words and actions, already insignificant as they were, more so. Rain came in a relentless rhythm, which finally broke the surface in words that drowned out ours, like the loud relative during Chinese New Year, like the seminar asshole that just wouldn’t shut up. And yet, it marvelled me to no end, that no takeover should ever be complete as this, with the world ensconced in rhythmic fury and greyness seeping in like this was Pleasantville, that covered not only the world but also our minds, that made us feed off the lack of colour as if a drug. If dullness were a drug then what would this make us? Would it make us the addicts or the patients? The rain continues to speak, maybe she had the answers, but it wouldn’t matter either way. We couldn’t catch up to the pace of her murmurs.
Later I would take the lift up to the highest floor of my college. One thing led to another and I ended up standing at the ledge, arms on the railing. The land spread out below, lightly misted, like a last minute thank-you-note you decide to write before your time with someone is over. The mist accretes into the distance, the height plays tricks on how we see. I have run to that reservoir before. That is West Coast Park, where I had triumphed but then also failed. There were the roads that held me at 12 am as I stumbled back to college, drunk. I remember the footsteps we took out of those gates, onto that bus. It was a sunny morning but somehow the rain brings me back. These are the memories that are only conjured when a world is cloaked in grey, when background noise helps you focus and urges you to be calm, but at the same time screams at you to remember. And I remember. I try everyday to forget but the grey draws me in and I remember.