When it rains in New York City, it’s hellish. The streets run black with sludge and detritus, and the specter of the day’s garbage wafts up from the corner in a fetid miasma. Tiny bodies wield massive umbrellas with pointy tips. Plague-ridden puddles lay in wait to soak sneakers you can’t afford to replace. Crowds flood the subways, lowing their discomfort like sweaty, frizzy, drenched cattle.
It’s a gross, soul-sucking nightmare, the thought of which is enough to make you board yourself up inside at the first hint of a drizzle.
Not so in Chatsworth. As a kid, I’d run outside whenever it rained, my bare toes squelching in the grass and long hair tangling wildly, face upturned. It felt like a cleansing when the mid-Atlantic skies opened up and laughed down at us. I’d tumble back inside, sopping wet, and flop down with a book to air-dry.
On the other hand, when I come in from a downpour in New York, a scowl, a stress headache, and a pair of soggy trouser cuffs come in with me. It’s one of a thousand resent-able inconveniences you encounter living in NYC. You bet your ass I resent it, but it’s just another small price I pay for having had the gall to pack up life in Chatsworth and set out for The Big City.
Don’t get me wrong -- I’ve built a good life over the past half decade somewhere between Gotham’s grime and grandeur. I have no intention of leaving just yet. Every summer, though, when I see the sky start to darken, I wish I were back home in the pines.
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Kim Kelly is an editor for Noisey who lives & works in NYC. Follow her on Twitter.