Funny how Florence always manages to pleasantly surprise me even when it’s not its own doing. This morning I had a very important meeting and because after an hour of stress everyone needs to have a nice coffee in a good company, I had arranged a coffee date with one of my fellow writers, the amazing Marisa Gareffa. When I left my house, one of my weather application on my phone warned me about a storm coming later, so I took an umbrella with me which later on became the bits and pieces of an injured, what was left of an umbrella, that was left behind as a collateral victim.
While enjoying my coffee on a terrace and of course talking about writing, I saw this big, black cloud coming towards us fast, so I suggested we get moving and get to our final destination, over one of Arno’s bridges, also because she absolutely wanted to take a picture of this deer made out of branches, that seemed to be floating over the Arno river. I could say we were in a rush, but even when little drops of rain started falling on the top of our heads and the wind threaten to kill everything in its path, we were still laughing about it and she actually stopped and took an amazing photo of the clouds over the city. Her plan was to cross the bridge and get closer to the work of art so she can get a nice shot, which she did an hour later. We were half way across the Ponte Amerigo Vespucci, when I looked on my right and seen this huge pile of dust and leaves and rain coming right towards us and swallowing the next bridge in its path and I honestly felt like that person in the movies about the Apocalypse, who sees a huge wave coming towards him and it takes him a second to actually move. What came next was a laughing “Fuck!” and a desperate “Runnnnn!” and we got out of the way just in time to dodge the first wave of hailstones.
Do you think the story is over? Just wait for it (hahaha). As we were running like mad people, exchanging screamed indications about where should we go and seeking any kind of refuge, we saw this beautiful terrace in front of a Trattoria and just as we stepped foot on there, the hailstorm began and the harder we laughed, the harder it hit, so basically everything became flooded with white hailstones in a second and our clothes, our shoes, our socks, our…everything, was wet and dripping. As I stood and watched, enjoying nature’s show of breaking loose it became so obvious that we are really small in our existence, so small that we couldn’t even make it around the corner and into the Trattoria without being injured in some way. Well, I almost fell at some point, but it was like she said: “You slipped like a big monkey that you are!”. We finally made it into the restaurant at some point and dripped on their floors, felt the wetness on our skin on their chairs and had a really enjoyable, forced lunch together (inside joke).
So, thank you Florence for celebrating a new chapter of my life with me, awarding me with this amazing gift disguised as a hailstorm and also I wouldn’t have wished for another person to have this adventure with, than the “picture freak” I had with me today. And yes she got her amazing shots and we were very surprised to see that even the antlers of the deer were intact. The artist has made an awesome job.