Sport or Not? Umbrellas

Art Credit Greta Hahn

When the autumn rain pours down upon SUNY New Paltz, no player is on the bench. Everyone must become an athlete in the fight to stay dry. 

Some forfeit immediately, taking no cover from the downpour. Others simply throw the hoods of their jackets up. You, however, boldly choose an umbrella as your protective gear.

It’s easy at first. With the press of a button your umbrella explodes into a dome above your head. Rain drips down the sides of your shield, but you remain untouched. As you walk on, you see two of your fellow competitors struggle to fit under one umbrella. Triumphant over the half wet contestants, you feel as though you’ve already won today’s tournament — that is until the thunder starts. 

The trees look suspiciously unstable as you quicken your pace. Your walk becomes a race as water spews from the sky, getting faster and stronger.  

The wind challenges you to a wrestling match. You tug and push against the elements’ wrath until your canopy’s metal ribs are exposed. Fighting is no use; popping the umbrella back into shape only leads back to the same inside-out fate.

You have to get inside, but there, your next challengers await you. The others who fled to shelter grapple for dominance with the door frame as they attempt to close their umbrellas without getting drenched. Many get doused in water despite their frantic efforts, and even the champions can’t help getting sprayed.

Your once dry, well-groomed peers turn into slick, wet pomeranians after a bath. Flimsy umbrellas fall into wet piles beside desks and dorm room doors. 

Accepting your losses from the day, you retreat to your room for cover and perhaps, a towel.