Waiting for Columbus
” In a museum in Havana there are two skulls of Christopher Columbus, one when he was a boy and one when he was a man.” Mark Twain
Washington D.C….the D.C. is short for District of Columbia – a feminized version of ” Columbus”. Two state capitals and some forty other U.S. cities, towns, and counties also bear his name. As do countless institutions such as Columbia University and of course his landing date is a national holiday. For God’s sake they even named a space shuttle after him, but that didn’t work out so well.
The nation’s capital and many other sites around this country are named for a man who never set foot on this continent. Why, you ask? Well, it’s not really understood…
There is a painting of Chris landing on an island he called San Salvador at the U.S. Capital Rotunda and it is true that for 12 years he hopscotched all over the Americas and was the first European to land on the beaches of many future nations, but not once did he see or touch anything that later became U.S. soil.
Why did he get the nod? Was it because he brought tobacco to Europe allowing most Europeans to bathe less and smoke more. True, tobacco became one of America’s most profitable exports, but that came along with a deliciously healthy dose of heart disease and lung cancer .
Gold and God, conquest and conversion. Those cute, adorable, but very nasty twins of Spanish exploration. And Chris was a true conquistador wannabee. Sure, he did his mandatory raping, pillaging, and spreading of disease, but came up short in the gold department. In his last days Chris hung out with another huge liar and self promoter Amerigo Vespucci and coughed up his last breath never receiving the recognition or riches which he so desperately sought.
Both the DR ( Dominican Republic ), Spain, and other countries claim to have some or all of Chris’s bones, but where ever those bones are, I bet they are singing “How do you like me now”.
This is a mind piece just like I like them — thoughtful, gritty and provoking. Never on US soil — it all makes sense and explains how he could get away with those puffy shorts.