I’ve always found comfort in the rain, and one of the benefits of living alone is that when I want to enjoy some quiet, all I need…
“You sit and wonder just who’s gonna stop the rain, Who’ll ease the sadness, Who’s gonna quiet your pain…”
Of course, even though I live alone, I don’t always have the house to myself. Apparently there are singers here, too.
“I didn’t know you were a Springsteen fan,” I remarked to The Devil as he stepped out onto the porch in one of his customary impeccably tailored suits.
“Who doesn’t love the Boss?” Lucifer replied as he handed me a Snapple and then came over to sit down next to me without waiting for the invite. “One of my favorite ways to torture The Damned is by never allowing them to hear a Springsteen song in Hell.”
“Cruel and unusual,” I answered with a chuckle as I popped open the bottle and took a long sip of my Snapple. “The Ties That Bind was an excellent choice by the way.”
As far as interruptions went, this one wasn’t the worst. Snapple and a Springsteen serenade were okay in my book.
“So what are you doing out here moping in the rain?” The Prince of Darkness demanded as he brushed away a black fly.
I shrugged. Why does a man retreat to his quiet place on a rainy day? Of course, I knew why, but that didn’t mean I had to share the reason with my nosy guest.
“I can tell by your scent and general shabby appearance that it’s also a showerless Sunday,” Satan quipped with a look of slight disgust on his handsome face. “You sound like the guy from an unreleased single on one of Bruce’s darker albums.”
I rolled my eyes as Satan’s snark.
“If my life were a Springsteen song, it would definitely be Thunder Road,” I shot back at him as I quickly took a whiff of my left armpit. It smelled fine. He was out of his head.
“I know Thunder Road is your favorite song, and the title fits in with this whole sad man sitting all alone in the rain theme you’ve got going on here, but there’s no way your life is Thunder Road,” The Devil informed me smugly. “That song is about a cool guy, who wants to rebel and leave his boring life behind, and plans to drive off with his lady on an exciting, unplanned adventure.”
“And you’re saying that’s not me?” I yelled at him defiantly. Even though I knew that was not be at all. Not one bit.
“Spontaneous and adventurous are words you might use in your stories, Austin, but you’d never use them to describe yourself,” Lucifer replied and then gave me one of those half shrugs that is supposed to convey that while his words might hurt, he was only speaking the truth. “Plus, you hate driving. So all the redemption you have to offer would never be beneath a car’s dirty hood.”
“I guess you’re right,” I conceded with a sheepish grin on my unshaven face. “Maybe I’m more of a Dancing in the Dark kind of guy.”
“Now that makes sense!” Satan exclaimed. “I’ve seen you attempt to dance, and the only way you should ever do so again is in complete darkness. The world doesn’t need to see how badly you’ve been cursed with a lack of rhythm.”
Say what you want about The Devil, but he did have a knack for getting me to lighten up a little.
“Life shouldn’t be so vexing,” I announced as I placed my empty Snapple bottle on the porch railing. “It should be more like this. Just hanging out on the porch, talking about nothing in particular, and enjoying an ice cold beverage.”
“Allow me to play Devil’s Advocate for a moment,” Lucifer said and then burst out laughing at his witty word play. “I’d bet my soul, if I actually had one, that the reason you’re feeling blah and forsaking soap and water has to do with someone who makes your otherwise boring life a Hell of a lot more exciting.”
I started to say something, but The Prince of Darkness shut me up by handing me another bottle of Snapple that he made appear out of thin air.
“That’s evil to use my favorite song against me,” I scolded him after I had formed the very mental image that he had suggested.
“Love is like the rain, my friend,” The Devil advised. “Sometimes, it makes you all wet, but you still can’t get enough. Sometimes, it inspires you to jump gleefully in puddles until you’re exhausted from laughing so hard. And sometimes, the thunder and lightning scares the Hell out of you, and you don’t know if you’ll ever be safe again.”
“But in the end, you know that you’ll never survive without it. So stop sitting here wondering who’s gonna stop the rain, and go sing in it!”
Much to Lucifer’s delight, I hopped over the porch railing and onto the front lawn, where I belted out the greatest rendition of Thunder Road that anyone has ever heard…
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