August 22, 2008


I'm walking up the street with my friend. I'm maybe fourteen or fifteen. She's a couple years older. A fine mist starts.

Friend: It's raining.

Me (struck by some awesome whim): No, it's not.

Friend: No, really. I just felt a drop.

Me: I don't feel anything.

The rain gets slightly heavier.

Friend: It's definitely raining.

Me: Uh, I'm sorry. I don't feel anything.

Friend: Look. I can see it.

Me: I...[shrug] sorry.

Friend: You can't see that?

I shake my head slowly.

Friend: But I'm sure it's raining.

Me (feigning concern): Um. Look, are you sure you're okay?

Friend: But I can feel it. I'm getting wet.

Me: I'm really sorry.

I bite my lip. My friend looks at me, then at the ground. We walk along in silence.

Friend (quietly): You really don't think it's raining, do you?

Me: Oh, of course it's raining. I'm just messing with you.

It was then and there that I learned just how malleable people are, that however much we might think of ourselves as discrete individuals, we're prey to all sorts of outside influences. It was a hell of a lesson, even if I gave it to myself.

Oh, yeah. She hit me pretty hard for that one. We both agreed I'd deserved it.


Anonymous said...

Okay, you were there and I wasn't. But ain't it just possible that your friend was worried about you rather than thinking she was mistaken?

I'm just sayin . . .

Stephanie Zvan said...

Paul, good point. However, she wasn't exactly silent about why she was hitting me. She was never the most confident of my friends, and I shook her pretty badly.