Thursday, and it’s raining like Noah was right. For three full days and nights the drumming has come down on the tin sheets above, a thousand percussion enthusiasts practising their snare rolls while camped on my roof and waiting for me to come out. The rhythm is in our heads, like the looped opening bars of a prelude to madness. It sits just behind the eyes, making the skin across the temples taut with blood, and the corners of the eyes twitch and tic. Occasionally it slows to a patter, but it’s like that game where you try to drive across town without stopping, so you creep up to red lights at four kilometres an hour till you’re almost kissing the bumper ahead of you, anything to avoid that little backward jolt that signifies a complete halt. And just before it hits, the lights turn green and the engine’s thrum takes charge again. It will never let us go. It is the frenzied communication across wet jungle undergrowth of a cannibal tribe who will devour us all.
The rain will not stop. Perhaps it doesn’t have the violence needed to fill the world entire. But it will fall pathetic and persistent until the paint strips off, until the walls are worn to grey. It will fall until the cinder blocks swell and fall away, rotten and toothless as sponge-cake. Bricks too – fat, engorged with water, like a trail of rusty leeches surrendering to the stream. The roads and footpaths will be colanders, sluicing water through their gaps and weak points as fleck by fragment is prised free. Trees will be smooth until they rupture outward, fibres unable to contain the saturation. The fish will drown from too much possibility. Our skin will not be able to hold to us. It will be sluiced away until we are covered only in slime, two inches thick, soft enough to be poked through with a determined finger. We will become amorphous, shapes in melted candlewax, each leaving our own little oil slick on the waters as they pass through the sad remains of basements, shopfronts, tennis courts, piece by piece carrying this city away and out to sea.