Thursday, July 12, 2007

And so it came to pass...

that on the 11th day of the 7th month, the heavens burst open and the wrath of God poured forth, drenching New York in a torrential downpour, the likes of which I haven’t seen since leaving Nigeria. The first daytime serious thunderstorm of the summer was spectacular to behold…especially as I was walking the streets of Manhattan when it happened.

At first it was merely spitting as I left my office. I was heading over to meet friends before going to Central Park. The plan was to have drinks and then watch Femi Kuti do his thing at Central Park’s SummerStage and be amazed as always at the dexterity of his dancers’ derrieres. I hadn’t made it halfway to my destination when lightening split the sky and thunder temporarily deafened me. I counted to 10 under my breath in the hope that I could somehow will the clouds to hold on to their bounty. By the time I got to 7, enormous raindrops and gusting winds were doing great battle with my brolly.

All around me I could hear people screaming and making mad dashes for cover trying not to get soaked and all I could think about was how utterly ruined my hair was going to be. The only time I ever rail against my ethnicity is when it rains. A storm is a glorious thing and I would love to be able to throw aside my umbrella, lift my face up to the sky and feel the cool stinging water wash over me taking with it the grimy nastiness of a day spent walking in muggy Manhattan. But of course, this is never the case. I hold my umbrella as close to my head as I can, trying not to let a single drop permeate the cover and frizz up the hair.

Needless to say it was to no avail anyway, by the time I made it to meet my friends I was soaked from head to toe with poodle hair on my head and buckets of water in my shoes. At that point I gave in to the hilarity of the situation, embraced it and it turns out….it was fun! We went on to the park and danced to the hedonistic rhythms of afrobeat for hours. We sat there as they screened a documentary on Fela and his trials and tribulations and I put my umbrella down and proudly rocked the poodle hair as the rain seemed to fall in unison with the sound of Femi’s drums.


Blogger Calabar Gal said...

You still went to see Femi despite the torrential downpour! That was mighty brave of you. Was expecting to read that you had turned back home. Glad you had fun.

1:50 PM  

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