Kage Baker was much, much fonder of heat than I am. Even when the summer heat waves overtook us, she was happy in the sweltering heat. A change to summer clothing, a fan on her neck, sufficient cold Coke and ice cream – these small things kept her happy and functioning.
In my youth, I could function in the heat even if I didn’t like it. At Renaissance Faires, I could bound about in two or three layers of linen and wool and do just fine – I lived on iced tea and all was well even when the temperatures went over 100 degrees.
Not anymore. Los Angeles is just today settling into its first serious heat wave of the summer, and I might as well be a fried bug on a windshield. Heat and I are no longer friends (not that we ever were, much) and in fact I think the temperature is trying to kill me.
This morning the temperature began rising like a rocket as soon as the sun was over the horizon; it was reaching for the 80’s here by 10 AM. That was when Dylan the Corgi decided he simply had to take a walk. Kimberly was about to make a quick trip to the market, and Dylan shot out the front door like a furry watermelon seed and headed for the border. Poor Kim went after him, shrieking for help; I leaped out of bed and promptly tripped over the little black cat.
In the few minutes it took me to find my glasses, find my keys, and throw something opaque over my nightgown, Kimberly and Dylan were out of sight down the block. Luckily, he decided to stick to his usual walk route: round the school at the end of the block, staying on the sidewalks because cars scare him … I caught up to them pretty quickly, with Dylan chugging along like a little tank and Kimberly slogging grimly after him, almost catching him every time he slowed down to sniff something.
A couple of pit maneuvers in drive ways slowed and turned the adventurer enough for Kimberly to get her arms around him, and lug him to the car. He went happily enough, and actually seemed quite pleased to see her, giving the impression he’d been unaware she was behind him all that while. And now he got a ride in the car! He was a terribly happy Corgi.Corgis have charming grins, which was a great stroke of luck for Dylan today …
How can you yell at a happy dog, or a small child who has no idea they’ve just frightened you half to death? Dylan didn’t understand the vision of a flattened Corgi in the street that had Kimberly crying into his ruff. The 3-year old you find confidently on her way to the beach after a frantic search cannot imagine the awful things that sent you screaming in her wake. There’s a point where yelling at the little things in your life is just pointless, though you may be never so tempted to rain wrath down upon some grinning wee entity.
When I got us all home, Michael was standing on the porch about to call the cops. He’d wandered out from his bedroom to find the door standing open, neither Mother nor Aunt in sight, Kimberly’s purse dropped on the porch … I think he thought we’d been abducted. Though I can’t imagine who’d abduct two irascible old ladies and a self-righteous Corgi.
After this start to the day, things were pretty well scrambled. Dylan is still happy and pleased with himself, loping about begging for belly rubs; he’s still eying the front door, too, so whatever possessed him this morning is still ascendent in his little wolfish brain. When sternly warned away from it, he strolls off nonchalantly, pretending to have no idea what we’re talking about. But he knows.
I collapsed and slept for 6 hours. Which is insane. I will evidently be awake all night, but at least it will be cooler then, so … I can reverse my Circadian rhythms for a few days. In fact, it appears I have no choice; my heart, too, is apparently contemplating some knavery, and pretending it’s not. And there has been quite enough bolting out the front door for awhile, thank you very much.
Heat advisories and power outages are in place all over Los Angeles. It is very definitely summer now, serious summer where the main goal of the day is to survive until the sun sets. Time to glug ice water and put my swelling feet up, and see how the new meds work against the Season of the Sun.
And keep an eye on the Corgi.