Rain, O’er Me
“A scale, C flat minor key,” a lanky dude called out as I boarded the elevator, my fingers trembling up the fret board of my electric P bass. My hand stopped mid-scale and my blue eyes surveyed him beneath surprised eyebrows. We were in the practice studio building at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts for a week-long music camp.
“How did you know that, that quickly?” I inquired.
“I grew up in Kansas and my bedroom was under a tin roof. When I was six I noticed the raindrops made different pitches and they reverberated in my head. It almost drove me crazy until I started naming and ordering them. As you can imagine, I didn’t sleep much as a kid,” he paused and extended his left hand to me, “Hi, I’m Mike.” I steadied my bass and shook his hand.
“I’m Abbey, spelled like Abbey Road.”
“Here comes the sun, do-do do-do…” he sang in a rich, honey-intoned tenor. I couldn’t help but here “I want you (she’s so heavy)” in my head. As we exited the elevator, the arrival tone sounded. “B sharp,” he noted, gesturing a long, skinny finger toward the elevator. I smiled at him. Some people might find it annoying that he documents minute sounds but I understood. I thought back to all the times when I would interrupt my friends at dinner time to make them aware of the jukebox selection. Often, the monologue was something akin to this: “The Who, Quadrophenia, track 17, ‘Love, Reign O’er Me’, 1972.”
“When I was a little girl I couldn’t go to sleep without hearing that song first. My parents were really big Beatles fans.”
“That’s awesome,” he said. My stomach flipped. He was attractive in a very unique way. He was six feet tall with shoulder-length brown hair, goatee and mustache and coffee-colored eyes. His face was smooth and he had a dimpled chin.
“What do you play?” I asked, brushing my copper-colored, pin-straight hair from my freckled face.
“Piano. They’re a bitch to carry around, though.” We both smiled. “I almost had to play piano with all those notes to reconcile.”
I stood in the parlor by his Grand piano, the grayness of the day enveloping me. The rain poured down on the roof of our Virginia farmhouse. Mike was satisfied with this house because it muted the raindrops to a background choir of white noise. He never felt the need to document them all and he slept better than he had in his whole life. He always said it was because I was right beside him. I smiled, thinking of his brown, watercolor eyes as my fingers grazed the inscription on the lid: My dearest, you will always be my sunshine. He sang The Beatles’ “I’ll follow the sun” for me at our wedding. It was one of my favorites. We’d been married 24 years when Mike died from prostate cancer last year. Until then, the rain always helped me sleep.
Bio: Rachael Goetzke has been writing fiction and poetry since she was ten and is currently working on her memoir with Wilkes University’s Creative Writing program.