Kage Baker would be in white silk mode right now.
It’s hot here in Los Angeles, and has been for nearly 2 weeks now. Triple digit days, and nights that only get down as far as 75 degrees just before dawn. Fond as Kage was of heat – she used to claim there were salamanders in her ancestry – even she would give up eventually when it got this bad in Pismo Beach.
It may have been the distraction of me lying on the floor, whining and moaning that I was dying of heat prostration. Or it may have been the horrible sight of Harry; who, after being held under a cold shower to bring his body temperature down, looked the demon love child of a Skexis and Quetzalcoatl. (Parrots, like Moriarty, do not sweat.)
Or maybe even Kage got too hot. She’d never admit it, but she’d curse the hot wind off the beach, and knot her hair on top of her head – literally, winding the extravagant length of into a rough rope, and tying it to itself in a Gordian Knot. Then she’d pin the knot to the top of her head with a spare pencil. Or more than one, because Harry considered it his prerogative to pull all the sticks out of her hair until the whole length of it cascaded down over him … then he’d laugh like a maniac, and have to be untangled and removed.
In the moments with less parrot and more peace, Kage would change into her white silk lounging pajamas. No kidding. She would shed her shoes and stockings, which was a very decadent and informal move for her, and continue to write for as long as she could stand sitting by the window. When even the sight of the sea was too hot for her, she’d repair to her wing-back chair, drink rum and Coke with an umbrella in it, and watch pirate movies.
Harry would scurry around on the back of the chair, or run up and down her legs, cackling at the movies. And I’d take a cold shower, dress in as little as I could manage, and watch the two of them. And giggle. And read quietly while they entertained themselves … eventually the sun would set, and we’d have ice cream for dinner, and a glorious cool wind would arise from the steaming sea and all the stars would light at once from the friction of the burning atmosphere.
But we’d survive. Good times, those.
Tonight, Dear Readers, I am simply too tired to come up with a deep, cogent post. My brain has melted, and is leaking out my ears. I wouldn’t mind if it were at least cool, but my melted brain is like boiling caramel. And my hair, although tied in a ponytail on one side of my head, is still as hot and heavy as a cashmere sweater. I’d cut it off, but Kimberly would kill me – I’ve cut my hair off three times or so in the last three years, and she has dedicated herself to preventing me from doing it again. Admittedly, I always do a bad job of it and look terrible …
But we’re surviving. Good times are still happening. Ice cream for dinner has appeared on menus a couple of times in the past fortnight. I have adequate amounts of iced coffee to drink. Today I ordered the unexpected-and-anticipated-with-hysteria BRAND NEW MONKEY ISLAND game. It was Kage’s favourite game in all the rolling world, and so I will play it as a memorial.
Also, a new Stephen King novel, Fairy Tale, came out today. It materialized on my Kindle like a friendly spirit, and reading it is what I am doing for the rest of the night. With a Stephen King novel, after a certain point it’s too scary to try and asleep anyway, so why bother trying in the heat?
And I hope all of you, Dear Readers, are successfully combating the heat and are safe and comfortable. If you have silk pajamas, don them and raise a run and Coke to Kage.
One with an umbrella in it.
And here I was, thinking I was the only person left alive who said “dying of heat prostration”. But there you were, swimming to the surface to give us another blog post (much appreciated) to cling to in oceans of sweat and other nameless liquids. Kate, you are a breath of fresh, cool air, long may you waive.