rain drops keep falling on my head

quick shop market, 8th st

I’ve cycled past this place on many occasions and finally stopped to skech. It’s unusual for such a shop to spell ‘quick’ correctly (as opposed to ‘kwik’ or similar), and say ‘market’ rather than ‘mart’, in fact to use ‘shop’ and ‘market’ together, but let’s not dwell on semantics. I sketched this while on my way to the library on a nice dry day when I didn’t get completely soaked.

Tuesday last week however, I did get completely soaked. I needed to go to the library to drop off some books which were overdue – I just had to go that evening, get out on the bike, maybe get another Portugal book, get home. It was a nice evening, cloudy, with golden rays of setting sun poking through the gaps (I’m not making this up, I even took a photo). For some insane reason, I forgot my ‘just-in-case, you-never-know’ rain jacket, AND my bike light. I obviously wasn’t thinking. While in the library, and having a conversation about art projects and displaying my work there in November, I could hear that rain had started to beat against the roof. Not beat, but slam down in torrents. The deluge had come. I hung out there, did a drawing on a postcard (they have some postcard exchange with a library in LA) while I waited, waited for the rain to disspiate (and presumably for the sun to come back out). I live a long way from the library.

It didn’t stop, but it wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t go out in it. It’s only water, falling from the sky. We get loads of it in England. Cycling in it down bike lanes with little or no light was a challenge though. I had my flashing red back-light which is on my helmet, so that at least traffic behind could see me, but for the most part I walked – whenever I cycled I would invariably run into a large pile of wet leaves which people leave on the bike lane in the darkest possible spots (this is one reason a bike light is essential), and I know what sort of eight-legged baddies live in those piles. I passed by this place, not really having much need to buy six-packs of bud-light or large bags of doritos.

Eventually I reached Rite Aid (a store I can’t actually stand; it has such a wierd layout and they have never really codified their queuing system), where I was able to dry off a little and find an expensively-priced and cheaply-made bike light. At first it didn’t work, and it smelled of awful rubber. In the end though it came through, and helped me see my way home, and there are some really dark roads on the way to my house where cars tend to think nobody can see them speeding. I got in and had a cup of tea, and a hazelnut kit-kat. That was nice.

I was going to do some sort of drawing about that rainy journey home as part of this week’s Illustration Friday, whose them is ‘soaked’, but I’ve not had the time. I’ll wait until it rains again.