Sunshower

June 12th, 2007

I managed to sneak out of the office just after seven o’clock last night.

46th Street was teeming with tourists awash in smoke from a dozen gyro grills on account of the Taste of Times Square festival. I took to Eighth Avenue, skirted a cab, dodged a bus, and headed west.

I was listening to a U2 b-side, a seven-minute, big-beat remix of Cole Porter’s “Night & Day,” through a pair of oversized Sony studio headphones on account of my iTunes earbuds shorting out over the weekend.

On the West side of 49th Street, just beneath the shadow of Worldwide Plaza (location of my first full-time day job in New York: Lifetime Television for Women), I felt a drop of water smack me on my forehead. And then another. And another.

I looked up. The sky was clear. A few blocks away, just above the patch of grass and concrete where 49th Street touches the Hudson River, the sun was shining a furious, deep orange. Through an archway of green foliage stretching over the street, sheets of rain fell backlit by a glorious sunset.

Soon enough, my sunglasses were dotted with raindrops. My jacket was flecked with moisture. My head was soaking wet. Umbrellas began to sprout like spring flowers. Pedestrians scurried.

I was growing soggier by the minute. It dawned on me that my recently tailored sport coat might be ruined, and that my leather shoes might be sullied. Still, I couldn’t help but smile.

What better illustration of life’s folly — the constant, sometime subtle but always meaningful juxtaposition of high and low, light and dark, happy and sad — could there be than the sunshower?

Sun, and rain. Perfect together.

At the same time.