I was going to save this one for a rainy day, but it's probably raining somewhere in the world, so here it is. Rain

one evening when we were lounging in his apartment in a relaxed mood, smoking a little hashish, charles baudelaire said to me: "you know, everybody has seen rain falling -- most people have, at one time or another, actually noticed it."

i agreed with a chuckle. he continued: "you know, i think we can be fairly confident that it has been raining, on & off, for a very long time!"

having said this, he collapsed on the chaise-longue, in a veritable paroxysme; but as always, there was a tinge, a definite tinge of bitterness in his merriment.

"it would be absurd to imagine," he said, "that rain could ever have behaved in any way different from that which we observe today . . ."

after a moment's crystalline silence our conversation drifted to other topics -- the day's gossip, the inexhaustible genius of edgar poe. but when we stood on the fire escape, taking leave, he gazed over my left shoulder into some indefinable distance or abyss and said, almost dreamily: "it is for ever washing the substance of the land into the sea."

Anselm Hollo