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It is raining.

The cold solemn drops are large enough to drench you with one step from beyond your sheltered porch. You have stepped out before. You know the danger. You can become thoroughly drenched, then step back onto the porch shivering and miserable, wondering why you went into the rain in the first place. But something happened to you out in that rain. Your mind is cleared and you can see things in a new illuminating light. Life is exhilarating. Everything makes sense and nothing is as it was. Your lungs are filled with the purity and cleanliness of a force totally beyond your control. Realization strikes. You have no control, and you like it. Your step back onto the porch is a heavy one. You have experienced a freedom that dulls everything in comparison. You were free but now you are miserable and sopping, living in a world of constriction. In economics, it's called opportunity cost.

This time you decide you will not venture out into that dangerous turf. You remember the melancholy of stripping off your saturated clothes and the hours it took to get warm again. Before your eyes the rain becomes a peril much too lucrative and volatile to be tampered with. You turn your back and ignore the rains mewing call. You remain in the safe confines of your porch fully knowing the extreme bliss and sorrow you are missing. A new kind of misery overtakes you. It is the acrid aftertaste of a cigarette; the stained teeth from coffee; the empty bottles after a party; the ashes of your favorite book. A hate boils up inside you. You blame this hate on the rain. If only it weren't there to bother you, you could live in your own cozy world drinking the intoxicating ambrosia of ignorance. But it is too late for that. You have already tasted the bittersweet Apple of Knowing. You can never again enter your own private Eden. Even if the rain goes away, things have changed for you. And you know the rain will be back with its plead for a dance of wonder and destruction. You know you will be forced to decide. Will you give yourself totally and completely, lose all control and be blissfully happy for a moment, forgetting the coldness yet to come? Or will you try once again to unsuccesfully regress into your Garden of Naivete, leaving you scornful and bland; you cannot get there, instead you have a world where everything is just "fine" and perfectly "okay."

Beyond eventual misery, there is no knowing where either choice may lead you. Is the joy of freedom worth the frigid aftermath? Or is it better to deal with the staleness of regret? If I knew the answer, I would tell you. But I don't, and it is a choice you must make yourself. You are all alone.

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