The use of French was largely intended for the melancholy mood it gives, and I took into account that readers might not actually be able to read it. My own French is rather poor (which actual French speakers will probably notice), as I only took two years in high school which were promptly replaced by Japanese. The understanding of the words wasn’t meant to be entirely necessary, though they do naturally add another level. The style of the person’s face was inspired from some French comic books as well.
The piece is only three pages long, and was done entirely in one night while on summer break after my freshman year at Berkeley, if I recall, while listening to an Annie Lennox CD of my parents (odd how details like that pop out). The rain was a mixture of pen and dabbing/swiping of a tissue paper dipped in ink. Otherwise it was inked with a nib (if I remember correctly).