Sunrise, 2010


OHHH! My head. Damn. What the…? This must be how Detroit feels the morning after winning a sports championship: battered, bedraggled, and behurting. And why can’t I feel my infrastructure? I’m numb from street level down. No. No, hold on. There. I can feel my sewers. Churning. Backing…up. Erp! Oh God. If New York is the city that never sleeps, I’m the city that wishes it had never woken up.

Illustration by Adam McCauley

Come on now. Snap out of it. Think, Cincinnati, think. Last night. What happened…?

Let’s see. Um, I was stoked about it being New Year’s Eve. Made sure to push that cynical, dreary German nature of mine, that crippling Teutonic tightassness, way down into the farthest corner of the deepest section of my darkest abandoned subway tunnel so I could cut loose, paint the town—i.e., paint me—well, OK, maybe not red, but reddish. Ruddy. Not pink, though. ’Cause, I mean, I’m not gay. Or a commie. You know, San Francisco.

OK, so I’m primed to party guardedly heartily. Then what? Oh, right. I was thirsty so I tapped into the DeKuyper drainage pipes for a couple, six, 10 long sips of crème de banana liqueur overspill. Not that I’m apologizing. I’ve earned some R&R. ’Cause, come on, what city had a better 2009 than me, hunh?

Which—now I remember—got me thinking about all my big changes. Last year and coming up this.

Like the mondo casino that’s approved and gonna go up on the edge of downtown, dressing me up with all the flash, panache, and high-class of Lawrenceburg, Indiana. And the suh-weet shiny streetcars that’re coming to run through and revitalize my urban core like a municipal mass transit enema. And how about my landing the World Choir Games and UC’s football season and Peter Bronson going away…

Whoa, ’Nati, you’re losing your thread. Focus. Focus.

So what next? Er…more liqueur? I guess, yeah. And a couple vats of Ruby Port sucked from the tanks at Meier’s Wine Cellars. Got kinda blurry after that. And blustery. Enough that I started ticking off my successes to those backward-but-uppity burghs across the river. At some point, I bellowed, “I wusz named ninth shafest city’n Amer’ca by Forbe’ses magazjine!” And Covington shot back, “Which is canceled out by Psychology Today rating your populace first in unfounded fears!” And then Covington laughed.

That hit home. Brought me down. So I…so I…so I what? Uhh…Oh, crap. That’s right. I went to huffing jet fuel out at Lunken and…and…from there it all goes dark.

Until here. Now. New Year’s Day morning. Uh, afternoon. Whacked out. Blacked out. And no idea how I wound up naked in Nevada being spooned by Las Vegas.

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