He hears the rain as criticism--it taps out "why are you still here?"like some insistent Morse Code tunneling into his brain.
The water edges around the window caulking into the long-soggy wood, and he senses the erosion of his plans just as surely as his father told him that such plans doom themselves to failure.
He'd had ideas of sun-swept lawns; warm, quiet voices; laudatory letters from strangers; and difficult novels over which he'd puzzle. Now he thinks only of the sound of falling water, dinging against the outdoor drainpipe. He thinks himself trite when he imagines things washing away.
He's always pitied his parents, trapped in the swim of convention; but now he wonders (as he sees his reflection, drenched in free-flowing cold sweat) if some lesson unlearned now dooms him to swim yet another lap.