Kage Baker loved hot weather.
Even if it was truly, dreadfully hot, she enjoyed it; she’d pin her hair up on her head (an epic task), and lounge about in silk pyjamas with the fancy standing fan aimed at the back of her neck. It had blades like bronze palm leaves and evoked Cairo and the smell of puddles on hot stone. She’d drink gin and tonics, or rum and Cokes, or Singapore Slings. And she’d write.
Harry would sit on the back of her chair and be absurdly ruffled by the sweeping fan breeze. He’d amuse himself by pulling pins out of her hair until her braid fell down on him; then he’d fight ferociously with it. When the heat made him too indolent, he’d lie on his back, supported by Kage’s shoulders against the chair back, like a lazy plantation owner in a hammock. He’d fight with his feet and groom his toes. How Kage put up with that little feathery hot plate against the back of her neck, I never knew – but they both seemed to enjoy it.
It’s warm today, in Los Angeles. Not really hot – though the rest of the country is suffering under horrid heat – but warm enough to see how few clothes one can wear and still not stick to one’s chair. It’s weather for spending the noontide in a movie theatre, and then coming home and drinking iced coffee. It’s weather for barbecue and take out food, and then ice cream novelties.
That phrase, ice cream novelties, always intrigued Kage. You actually see it on frozen food aisles, describing the freezer where they keep the Bomb Pops and the Eskimo Pies. Kage loved Bomb Pops. And Italian Ices. And hazelnut gelato. And, if nothing sufficiently exotic was on offer, she’d settle for old-fashioned weird and eat Cherry Garcia, a pint at a time.
I did indeed go to the movies today, to a matinee of Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. I enjoyed it, too. I haven’t liked most of the recent undead pastiches – I don’t think Jane Austin is improved by zombies. But I liked AL:VH. It’s kind of comforting to imagine, for a little, that Mr. Lincoln could return as an implacable hero with a silvered axe, and save us all. And I do think the movie has a very palpable moral: Republican, Democrat, it doesn’t matter. The real problem is blood-sucking parasites running government for their own black profit.
And yestreday I went to a barbecue at Sister Anne’s, where we had splendid steak (She has the barbecuing gene.) and potato salad and where her younger daughter Annie made a dulce de leche cake from scratch, and topped it with fresh raspberries. Anne and I drank gin and tonics made with Bombay Sapphire – which smells like lavender and juniper, although it is not, alas, the exquisite colour of the blue glass bottle … which always made Kage regretful. So she occasionally added food colouring to hers.
Anne and I refrained, though I may try it tonight …
In the meantime, it may very well be time for a nap. The cats and the Corgi are collapsed bonelessly, competing for bits of cool tile to lie on. The cats have the advantage over the Corgi, and can also coil up in the sinks and play crocodile: just their drowsy eyes and ears peeking over the rim. Harry is a sleepy avocado on the sofa arm where the overhead fan blows a breeze on him: though his eyes are open, and he’s watching TV with his head tucked backwards between his shoulder blades.
It’s Summer, well and truly Summer now. Yeah, time to nap.