Thursday, September 29, 2011

Real Water Colors (With Figures)

Real water colors —
We’re figures in a landscape
under a rainbow.

This afternoon as I was leaving my building, two young teenage girls were walking past. One girl, tall and thin, was staring at her phone as she walked and thumbing something on the phone’s keypad. The other girl, shorter but thin too, looked up at the street light in the middle of the block. She asked her friend, “Why are the street lights on in the middle of the day?”

Her friend continued to stare at her phone, continued to thumb the keypad. She said, in an archly bored voice, “Who cares why the street lights are on in the middle of the day?”

I can verify that women of all ages never lose the ability to speak in that archly bored tone. And they never lose the desire to speak in that tone.

Anyway, I thought the bored girl’s friend asked a good question. I first noticed a couple of months ago that the street lights around here were on during the day. I posted about it—in The Criss-Crossing Of Sara’s Hair—and I thought power blackouts had disrupted some timer circuit. But whatever the issue was, it never got fixed.

So street lights are on during the day around here.

I can kind of prove it.

Later this afternoon, when the Sun was low in the west, we had a rain shower. As I was getting soaked because I didn’t have an umbrella with me, I thought, well, when the Sun’s out during a rain shower, you can sometimes see a rainbow. So I looked to the west to see exactly where the Sun was, then I looked to the east in exactly the opposite direction. And there it was, about a quarter arc of a rainbow. Just a short little beautiful segment of a rainbow. And there was just the hint of a secondary rainbow off to the right, but everything was kind of hard to see. I don’t know if I’d have seen even the short segment if I hadn’t actually looked for a rainbow opposite the Sun.

Oh, so, if you click on the photo to enlarge it and look carefully at the corner street light, you can sort of see that the street light is on even though the Sun is still up.

Sunlight shining on a street light under a rainbow.

If those two teenager girls were still outside, I bet the tall girl still would have been playing with her phone and wouldn’t have noticed the rainbow. And if her friend had pointed it out to her, I bet the girl with the phone would have said something like, “Yeah. It’s a rainbow. So?”

And I know exactly the tone of voice she would have said it in.

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Clowns, Women, But First A Rainbow

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