I thought we were friends. I recycle religiously. I’ve even been waiting for that e-mail from the village saying that they are doing electronics recycling so my old DVD player doesn’t take up space in a landfill. I chose to live by the el, so I’d drive less. And I’m vegan, which reduces my carbon footprint by two tons a year – more than any of those other things do.
And I liked you. I’m not the super-outdoorsy type, but I enjoy plants and trees and water. Yes, I really loved water. Rain, in particular. You know, it’s my dream to move to Seattle. I’ll take rain over snow in the winter and I don’t have a problem with cloudy days. I used to be Goth, remember? I still shudder at the thought of getting a tan. And thunderstorms were always a cure for my insomnia. But lately they’ve become a nightmare.
At first, I thought all of this rain is great for my garden. Then it started to get annoying. You see, I really want to check out Cruise Night, but it seems like every Tuesday evening that I have free, you conjure up one of those thunderstorms I no longer enjoy so much.
Then there was the storm with the crazy winds on June 18, which put a stop to my plans to go to the farmers’ market to buy that locally grown, organic produce that’s so good for both of us. We came up with a good Plan B and finally ate at Bua Hana, the new Thai place on Madison. Our meal was delicious, but I wanted some soy ice cream from Brown Cow for dessert and low and behold, the entire north side of Madison Street had no power! We retreated to the Beacon Pub, instead, which had partial power – beer cooler, yes. Jukebox, no – and I started collecting tales of storm-related woe. You really did a number on my neighbors and local businesses. Not appreciated, at all.
Five days later, I’m finishing up a writing project that’s already late and another thunderstorm rolls through. I think nothing of it because I’m used to you and your rain. But my mother calls and insists that I go down in my basement. I collect my cats, grab my laptop, and drag my husband with me. I manage to work for 10 minutes and then the cats start backing away from the laundry room door. What’s that? A puddle coming from the drain in the floor? No, not a puddle. Four inches of water from the overloaded sewer quickly fill the entire basement, doing damage that apparently we don’t have the proper insurance to cover.
I know that many of my fellow Forest Parkers got it much worse.
So, on behalf of all of us, please KNOCK IT OFF! You know, there was a bunch of stuff in my basement that could’ve gone to Goodwill, but instead it’s headed to the dump. And, honestly, you’re pretty lucky that my recycling habits are burned into me, and that I’m vegan, and that I love animals – since I’m certainly not very happy with you right now.
But I’m going to keep being good to you because I know you’ve had it rough lately with that disgusting oil spill. In return, I ask for just enough rain to water our plants, but not destroy our homes. And could the last Tuesday in July please be sunny? I’ll be in town and off of work then. So I’d like to go swimming, and my husband really wants to see those classic cars.
Your soggy and slightly bitter friend,
Stephanie is the author of “I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone” and “Ballads of Suburbia.” She’s a proud Forest Parker who holds a master’s in fine arts degree from Columbia College Chicago. She also works locally at the Beacon Pub and loves to hear from people through her Web site www.stephaniekuehnert.com.