My instinct was good: looking eastward from under the bookseller's tent, I could see the heavy grey clouds louring their way toward Cambridge. This would be a good afternoon to try out a café, I thought. Somehow that thought lost itself in the moments it took me to turn and find my friend. "Should we go?" is what I said aloud, and it wasn't even that I meant, any longer, to imply "go to a warm place where they'll serve me strong, milky coffee and you some rehabilitating herbal tea" instead of "go home to College." "Yes," he said, brow already furrowed. We bought our small paperbacks, packed them away where they'd be safe, and strode off. I had an umbrella packed into my camera bag. I am not the ill one, and I was the one who proposed the trip in the first place (in the high sunshine of early fall), and so I handed it over, demanded its use despite protestation. We strode and strode; I laughed to be so absurdly wet. "It's going to stop the moment we get home," I said.
And it did. Had we gone for hot drinks, we'd both have stayed dry. Sometimes my mind is mercurial at precisely the wrong moments.
My old waterproof is waterproof no more; that's why I didn't bring it along from home. But now I remember forcefully why I had no trouble finding an umbrella when I lived in Exeter: I didn't use one. I wore a waterproof hooded jacket; when it rained, I put up my hood and strode on. Such things are findable here, no doubt, but affordable? I have many doubts there.
This is how it is that I am slowly but surely assembling an entire life here.