I spent Columbus day in bed hungover, discovering only that I cannot drink like I'm 25 anymore.
This is not a new revelation, which is apt because it turns Columbus didn't really discover much on this day in history either.
He was actually more of a PR man for The Americas, which was probably found years before by the Chinese in 1421 or even by my Welsh forefathers way back in the 6th century. Christopher did all the promotional work though and then reveled in the glory, making the new world really popular via his genius marketing plan of slavery, which it turns out, really caught on. When he first set foot in the Bahamas he noted in his log how the ignorant locals would make fine servants and that "...with fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we wanted."
So with Columbus being something of a power hungry Italian Dom it is perplexing why he is celebrated at all.
But when you're a Cardiff girl, there is little excuse needed for a party, so I start the festivities the night before at a West Village bar serving half price bottles of wine. I come home in the early hours to the local crazy who has threatened to kill me several times passed out in front of my building. Shame he was more zonked than me, so we couldn't exchange our usual pleasantries where he screams "You're going to die, you fucking bitch" and I cry "What have I ever done to you?"
My recollections of the next few hours are shaky, but after I step over my hobo nemesis and retire to the safety of my apartment I remember drunken arguing with the (sober) American, drunken IMing anyone in the UK who was awake and drunken oven pizza burning.
By the following evening I have done nothing with my day but sleep, rot my brain watching E and suffered the black dog that accompanies every hangover. I wait for the big storm to hit. I know it is coming, not because I am a witch as The American claims, but because NY1 had been getting a hard-on about it all day.
New York does storms like it does everything else-completely over the top. First comes the rain, not drops, but lashes from the sky in huge sheets. Then the hail, as if every barman in the city has emptied their ice buckets at the same time. The stones hammering down on the back of the air conditioning unit like a drummer having an epileptic fit. Then the thunder so loud I feel the vibrations in my heart, quickly followed by lightning illuminating the inky sky.
The American and I open the bedroom windows and stick our heads out by the fire escape. We drink it the drama, turn off our phones, switch off the TV and shut our laptops. No technology can compete with the free show from nature tonight.
|New York photographer Jay Fine's stunning picture of Lady Liberty in the lightning storm|
"The lightning is like a giant Paparazzo bulb over Manhattan." says The American "Like the city is one big celebrity getting papped."
Cute. Clever even. He doesn't always say dumb stuff, despite his obvious disadvantage of being descendant of those who fell for Columbus New World marketing ploy.
"I like that." I say.
"You should put that in your blog." he says.
"Hmmm...maybe." I say.