• Vol. 02
  • Chapter 01
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Every time she went out in the rain the woman conjured an old man with a beard, from whose being and beard the rainwater descended.      It was always the same old man.       Was he a god? Was he God?      He appeared in the form of a human head only, with no other body to speak of.      He himself didn't speak.      But he suspended himself above her head much closer than a raincloud would've, as snug above as a speech bubble, as if she herself were speaking a human face out into the air.

Every time it rained, it was something to do with the ancient stranger.       She'd walk through the streets with no umbrella and no raincoat and people she didn't know would call out to her to tell her, it was raining, couldn't she see? she was getting soaked.      It made her laugh : as if she didn't know.      It reminded her of something she'd read in a biography of a French writer from the first half of the twentieth century whom she very much liked and who'd written about everything : music hall, aeroplanes, early fast-footage film, cats, sex, incest, earth, innocence.      This celebrated writer's old mother had shouted one day at the writer's even older father : look at you : even when it's raining right on to your head you have to put your hand out to see if it really is.

Once, a small boy offered her half a bit of old cardboard box he was using to keep the rain off himself.       She shook her head.      She thanked him.

I like the rain, she said.