I see him always – sometimes at night, under the dull orange glow of the street lamps, sometimes as I am leaving work, sometimes as I am about to pull the blinds in my eighth story window.
It is always raining.
He holds his yellow umbrella as though he is holding up the sky. Tides of people wash over the sidewalk, crossing when the light turns. But he never moves. He just stands, as the rain trickles down his umbrella and makes puddles around his booted feet.
I can never see his face, but I imagine that he is crying. I am not sure what it is about him that makes him tragic. But somehow, the sight of him there, standing in the rain – it just shatters my heart.
Something about a splash of color against a gray sky, and the fact that he never moves.
I often wonder what he is thinking, on those days I happen to catch a glimpse of him. If, in his absolute stillness and rainwater puddles, he has a name.
Or that, perhaps, if he moves, the sky will fall, and we will all be washed in darkness.