Suburban Rain

I went out for a 5 mile run at 3 a.m. in my town, a typical Long Island suburb. As I stepped out into the cool (very) early morning air, I faced my first obstacle: my house’s sprinkler system. I quickly analyzed the situation, and decided that the path of least risk involved edging along the side of the lawn and leaping over a sprinkler head. Two very wet legs later, and I was on my way.

The sprinklers in front of my house seemed to set a theme for my run. As I headed down my block, a solitary figure reflecting off shiny wet asphalt, I noticed a sound filling the damp air. A sort of hum, a familiar swishing. I looked around and suddenly realized that every house on my block had their sprinklers on. The slight drizzle I had noticed was about half rain and half sprinkler mist, rain from the sky and ground (a Forrest Gump quote concerning ‘rain that goes up’ comes readily to mind).

As I continued my run, every block I passed had houses with sprinklers going. I thought it so typical, the suburban houses with the tidy lawns and all the sprinklers set to turn on at 3 a.m. when no one is supposed to be around. And there I was, breaking the rule, observing the sprinklers quietly going about their solitary business. It almost felt like the rain was no rain at all but entirely sprinkler mist, their rebellion to my intrusion.

But I took all the water, rain and sprinklers alike, in stride. And it was fitting when about a mile away from home I got thoroughly soaked by a sprinkler to which I got too close. The sprinklers, the suburban rain, had their final say.

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