the rain wasn’t too terrible earlier this evening, so phil and megan and i met at artiste for coffee. but the storm intensified while we were there, and we watched from the parking lot as cars on the low curbsides were very quickly submerged. while everyone in the rest of the cafe launched boats made from pages of the houston press, megan moved her car from the street to the lot.
by the time artiste was closing, standing water covered the bottom two inches of my tires. rather than risk driving the three blocks home, i left my car at the cafe and walked with phil and megan around the corner to their first-floor apartment, where we mopped up the bathroom, moved speakers and boxes onto chairs, and called our families. i sat on the floor painting my fingernails bright green. later, we put loud techno on the stereo, turned off all the lights, and broke open six glowsticks, twirling them in our fingers as we danced around the room, listening to the storm in the background.
the rain let up eventually, so phil walked (waded) me home down the middle of the street, through hip-deep water. a few cars drove down cross-streets in futile and idiotic attempts to make it home. one, a large SUV, drove right past us, and we waded frantically (which isn’t really possible in hip-deep water) to the side of the street to avoid its powerful wake. the driver paid no attention to our yelling and didn’t slow down, and we were completely soaked with waves of dirty rainwater.
we made it to my building to find cars almost entirely filled with water. my second-floor apartment is intact despite its age, its completely flat roof, and my history with these sorts of things. i’ve no idea what’s become of my car, but i’m okay and phil just called to say he made it home, so everything is all right for now.
solid sheets of rain are all narrative and no interpretation. rushing water, however, is another matter entirely.