There’s something quietly beautiful about dirty sidewalks in the rain, mud and cigarette butts floating atop the dips and cracks, flitting like disoriented houseflies, the gray a fitting reflection of the darkened skies. Noise settles into a numbing whir for the moment: car tires rolling at slower paces, more people braving the streets alone, or maybe just more obviously alone, as they angle their faces down, dancing, as it were, from one square to the next to keep their feet dry inside their silk socks.
The rain finds the open space between the cotton of their shirts and the warmth of their skin, and the last droplets come down with an uncomfortable shock at first, eventually adjusting to something almost sensual, trickling down spines between tensing muscles as the air around them dries and quiets.
Necks start to unfurl, eyes admiring the passing clouds that, in their rush to keep up with the wind, expose bits of uncovered sky. The trees begin to lose their weight, and their branches get thrown, leaves like static on a television screen, synchronized motion in too many directions to seem cohesive.
The calm of the storm seems more present than the calm after, as people start appearing in more doorways, breaking free from their moments of reverie and introspection, refocusing their thoughts to routine, more aware of the dirt beneath their feet, unaware that they, too, are quietly beautiful.