It was a Dark and Stormy Night (#147)

It started to pour around 5pm and turn colder, darker, and certainly damper. It was a night for curling up with a quilt and a book and a cup of something hot.
We went swimming.

Homemade fries and chicken finished, Charlie ran and–just like in cartoons–pounced, stomach first onto the couch, only to race back into the kitchen and proclaim “Suit on!” with a smile. Then back out. “You want to go swimming?” I called/asked. “Swim-ming, yes swim-ming,” said Charlie. “So put on your swimsuit,” I said. Thumpety-thump-thump-thump thump thump bang (the drawer getting pulled out to its furthest length) and back down, waving the swimsuit like a flag. I reminded him to actually put his swimsuit on and before you know it we were out the door. Charlie soaked his shoes in the puddles in the parking lot. He bypassed a swim noodle and crept down the pool ladder. Once in, the fish in him took over and he arched his arms and plunged in his face, paddled about before gulping some air and sinking down, down, down.
I hot showered Charlie and we were settling into the cozy portion of the evening (Charlie eating apples and doing puzzles, me writing in my journal) when Jim called. Could we pick him up at the Metro Park Station?. “Just get on the Parkway, down the hill, turn right, turn right,” Jim assured me. Charlie put on his fleece attire–armor–and away we went in rain so hard it shone white in the car lights. We took the wrong turnoff and went down, down, down past signal, signal, signal until I sighted Jim’s back, talking on his cell phone to me on mine.

“Thanks for getting me,” said Jim as he slid into the backseat with Charlie. “This way, I get an extra hour with my best pals.” “Hi. Hi!” said Charlie, looking out the window at the weary commuters whose rides had yet to appear. A man who must have been a Sikh by his turban sat on a bench, looking straight out and in front of him for a familiar pair of headlights. How soon would he be sitting there again for his morning commute? What sunshine where might he be thinking (or not) of? Or what monsoon, like Dr. Punjabi whom I once worked for years ago in Connecticut and who used to open the windows of his office when the thunderstorms cracked and remember his boyhood? “Did you go swimming?” asked Jim.
“No swim-ming,” said Charlie. “No Californy, no Jersey. Hoam.”

“Hoam it is,” said Jim, and I headed north on the Parkway.

With Charlie, we swim on the nights it rains, it pours, and then step into more puddles, barefoot. Let me put it this way: In Autismland, it never just rains, it only pours, raindrops but also sun rays, too.


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