Rain Jam // A Creative Memoir

It’s raining. Everyone is pushing to one side or the other of Beverley Street like a couple herds of cattle or kids forming teams in an elementary school gym class. Musicians are tearing down their set putting random pieces of instruments into whatever case they can to protect them from the random downpour. Someone is holding a blue tarp high over the scattered performers the best they can.

Twice a year Staunton holds a lil music shindig in the downtown called Staunton Jams. Once in the summer and once in the fall a line-up of local talent gathers to perform and watch each other on the small stage. Their sounds echo down the long street bouncing from building to building. Even at the coffee shop two or three blocks behind the stage you can hear the melodies.

It’s as though the historical buildings are playing telephone and no building ever hears the whispers wrong. The one on the end, the coffee shop, always get to yell out what the band at the front whispered at the beginning.

My mom and I run off to the left of the street and huddle under the small rounded awning of the music shop that is just feet from the stage. A tall bearded man and his son stand next to me and my mom stands to my other side.

Looking into the shop I see some band members drying off as a dog prances excitedly around them. They look back out through the glass door at me, emotionless. They are dry and I am not and it seems they could care less. If they let us in they would have to let everyone in and imagine the chaos!

Even the warm red bricks of the sidewalk under our covered haven are turning to a deep brown as rainwater soaks into their porous faces. I am holding my flip flops in my hands now as it seems they are doing more harm than good. We decide to make a run for it.

The clouds are breaking and mom trails behind me as I skip barefoot through the sun splintered rain. I look up and back standing still until she reaches me.

Despite the abrupt end to our adventure, we are both smiling. Water blurs the memory. 

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