Archive for July 3rd, 2007

Rain amnion

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I requested Sheridan Hays’ “The Secret of Lost Things” from the library based on a review (I think this one from the NYT), and I just started it yesterday—finally, it’s due at the end of the week. [I haven’t gotten to the mystery part of the plot yet.]

And it’s a gem. Lyrical writing. Interesting characters, albeit oddball, every one. But maybe that’s just mirroring reality?

The main character, Rosemary, takes to walking the streets of NY in the evenings after work. We don’t know the date, but perhaps in the 1970s or 80s.

One hot July evening, I ran down an empty street as the peppery smell of city rain rose up from where the rain fell, spotting the pavement. The sharp scent set me sneezing. Seconds later huge heavy drops began to pelt my head and back. I took shelter beneath an awning and watched the storm through an amnion of water. Ten minutes later the rain ceased, as abruptly as it had started. The temperature dropped a few degrees, and I felt the materiality of weather, impervious to the great constructed landscape. Manhattan was at once sealed, and as I watched filthy rainwater disappear into subway grates and down street drains, as permeable as anything in nature. [p. 62-63]

Although it may not sound like it, the story does click along. I think I’m recommending it.