Kage Baker told me, “Write every day. If you can’t write, read and store up information. If you can’t read – well, if you can’t read, you’re probably dead. But on the chance you just don’t feel well, try to sleep and dream. There are stories there.”
The heat is said to be breaking – but the weather people have been saying that for a week, and the heat has sailed serenely on with no discernible change. So the heat’s not breaking, but I am getting close. There have been winds and thunderstorms all around the LA Basin – hail, flash floods, lightning and its thug offspring, brush fires; tarmac is melting, kitchen gardens are turning into vegetable leather right and left. It peaked at 90 degrees or so today; it’s only 82 now and there is an actual breeze: but the humidity is up to 60%.
In Los Angeles, when humidity reaches 60%, it’s supposed to freaking rain. But all we have now is boiling fog on the edges of the sky, slowly simmering pearl reducing us all to a miserable stock …
Air pressure is making my joints ache. Heat is making my head ache. Humidity is making my skin itch. My feet are swelling like loaves of Bridgeford bread, which has to be the most repulsive thing so far about getting old. And I am a right bitch in all of this, and incapable of anything useful. But next week I’ll be in Seattle – which will at least be different – and I ought to maybe start packing; getting enough clothes and vital supplies for a week through the TSA takes careful thought and much three-dimensional experimentation in suitcase volumes. Such a pity, then, that my brain has been boiled down and rendered into orange grease for taco frying …
I would looove to sleep. Of course, now that I actually want a nap, there is no hope for one. My mind is full of senseless static, but the sparking and gibbering is still too loud and constant for me to drift off and dream. Reading is taking almost too much effort – thank goodness for the Kindle, since anything much larger would snap off my poor little wrists like cheap peppermint candy cigarettes. Which would be kind of tasty right now, but no one seems to make them anymore – candy cigarettes having succumbed to Political Correctness – and really, is there anything at all neat left from my youth in the world?
It hardly seems worth it to have survived this far.
But … within the week I will be in Seattle, happily replacing my cerebral spinal fluid with good coffee. I can tap-dance out messages to Those Who Sleep Beneath in the chthonic halls below the streets. (Kage used to do that when we visited …) I can snuggle and spoil my semi-demi-hemi grandbabies, until their parents are sorry they told me I could visit. I can contribute more to my patient agent’s grey hairs; and spoil her charming little dog, too.
I’ll start packing tomorrow. Right now, I’m going to sit as close as I can to a fan, and wind yarn. Gotta have yarn if I mean to travel away from home. I’m not fit for human company, so yarn is just about my speed.
And I can dream while I wind it.
Ah, Kate. I feel ya. It’s cool and grey up here, but I still ask myself, sometimes, if there’s anything neat left. Happily, I’m usually able to say “yes”, and not just because you’re still able to get cherry flavored Tootsie Pops.There’s Loyalty, Friendship and Music- always music. People still, for reasons even they don’t completely understand, put on colored tights and caper in public, at events they love as much as we loved ours. There are still, thank the Goddess, numerous opportunities to do stupid things that horrify our youngsters. There are still beautiful sunsets, and you can still get stoned to enhance the experience, if you want to. Hell, you can even do it quasi-legally, now- not that that troubled us, then. Just keep on truckin’ until the wheels fall off and don’t forget that people love you. See you, pretty darned soon. Christmas is a’comin’, speaking of neat things. -Buff
Ah yes, candy cigarettes! I remember them fondly from my youth. Paired with those little wax bottles of sickiningly sweet liquid, the tops of which could be bitten off and the contents swigged, my friends and I would play cocktail party. We would gesture grandly with our erzatz smokes, expound on what we imagined were adult topics (usually the shortcomings of our imaginary spouses and our plans to buy new cars) all while staggering around the back yard in a state of mock inebriation, eventually landing face down in the sandbox.
It was a different time, it was a different world.
Today’s children will never know the innocent joy of playing cocktail party, and if the did and a neighbor got wind of it, CPS would likely be alerted.
Nickle Nips – the bottles of sugar syrup were called Nickel Nips. Kage and I and all our siblings adored them. At Halloween they came in seasonally- appropriate shapes, too: witches on broomsticks, skulls, pumpkins, skeletons … the skulls were best because they held the most, and you could then string them for a Kali-necklace when you were done.
There is hope for those of us who still like/remember peppermint cigarettes: http://www.nostalgiccandy.com/
Yeah, but they’re called “candy sticks” now and they don’t have red tips.
Kathleen, I Love your blog, I love it to bits! It gives us wonderful facets of Kage that we never knew and, more, it gives us fascinating aspects of you, all in such a warm, conversational way. I was initially skeptical of someone (not Kage) finishing Nell Gwynnes but after a few months of reading your blog I now have no qualms at all, and I’m avidly awaiting it. I now have my phone set up so that your latest entries are the last things that I read in bed, it’s a wonderful way to cap the day. I hope these entries are therapeutic for you because they’re manna to us, and very gratefully received. yours, very affectionately, Peter Burge.
Thanks for your kind words. And double thanks for sticking with the blog, and having faith in my writing! I personally was stunned when I completed Nell Gwynne II; and even more so after my beta readers and then my publisher assured me it would work! Kage had faith in me, and as in so much else – she was right. So far, anyway. I hope you continue to enjoy my efforts, and as Kage always said – keep reading.