The weather man on Channel 2 is a red haired fella with black horn-rimmed glasses. He’s a dapper little fella and always makes a crack pertaining to the previous news announcement from the charming presenters on the morning show. He is introduced with such regularity; it would be impossible for him to not be annoying. It may be every 7 minutes or something as ridiculous as that.
This Monday morning I turned on the T.V at the once unthinkable hour of 7.30 a.m. Now I have to admit that it’s become very thinkable, ever since Clare introduced me to morning T.V. The announcer who reads the news was on, a likeable fella with slicked back hair and some kind of sinus problem, I always look right into his face to see where the sound problem is coming from. I can clearly hear the squeezed pressure in his voice, and yet he shows no visible tightness in his nose. After his brief update on the latest news he made his usual announcement – “And now over to Billy Elliot for the latest on the weather”. I thought to myself “here we go”: Billy seemed to hover in under a bleak fog and cloud swamped concrete shot of Manhattan skyscrapers.
“Take a good look at this, and get used to it” he perked with a wobble of his head and a smirk.
“This is what it’s going to be like all week l…o…n…g.”
This is Wednesday, and I’m way behind on my Monday morning blog. I have been so incapacitated by the weather, I found it impossible to write. This evening we were so exasperated, Clare and I looked at each other and both blurted HELP!!!!! We called up our friend Carol downstairs and said “where can we go?” She suggested this place over on 14th Street – 5 napkin something – and we went there for their happy hour. Six glasses of wine later (for two) and 2 sliders (small burgers) and some sushi yokes, we came out of there $60 lighter, and braved the Irishy sea fret back home.
On the street there was a lot of tension, people were arguing. A tall, sixtyish black woman, sat on a stoop beneath a scaffolding arguing with an angry man with an Eastern European accent. He shouted in a heated rage.
“When you gonna gi-me dat durty fy dollahs you owe me?”
They both looked like they had a few, and a white male friend looked on with bemusement.
“you neva gonna let dat go are you?”
“How many times I godda ask?” he shouted, his small nose now curled up in anger above his six o’clock shadow.
“We made a arrangement dat you seemed to forgot, but you aint neva gonna let me foget are you, no never!!!”
“Why should I fo-get, you neva paid me back, it’s durty fy dollahs, you got no principle”
Soon their blood pressure voices trailed off behind us, Clare linked me as we headed home towards First Avenue, in the cold fog.
New York’s not normally like this. Bad weather of this description, usually tails off after a day or two. But this is hanging in there, and according to Billy Elliot, the weather man, it will be like this until Friday.
And then I recall my 19th year in Dublin, walking through a leafy park in the soft afternoon rain, a small park designated to the memory of some old wealthy west Brit, paid for so that the likes of me could have a place of green to daydream in away from the traffic, a place of green for me and a memorial for them, so that the world would remember they once had been here. I, almost hallucinating from the lack of meaning and direction in my life, with the regular companionship of rain and weather mixed with teenage pain, the desire for love, for success, for meaning, for an answer, felt it was such a potent cocktail that it rendered me numb and beyond the ability of intellectual appraisal. I may have been severely depressed half the time, but didn’t know about that kind of thing really.
Now, here I am moaning about five days of rain, after living with fifty in a row, repeatedly in my Irish youth.
New Yorkers are ripping each other to pieces because of it, in Ireland we turned it into art. What else could we do, there were no therapists.