Sittin' here in my skivvies at 4 am boiling like a lobster in a galvanized pot. The Red Chief Devil just opened the door of the Holy Furnace on us yesterday at high noon and since then it's been a cruel suffering and though I, like Exxon-Mobil, don't believe in Global Warming, somethin' is "goin' on here."
My first year in NYC, 1969, that May, I was out looking for work, pounding the pavements desperate to get challenging work, my first work in this huge metropolis. It was around May 25th that I traipsed out to work search, and that day the temperature hit 90 in early morning. I got an interview down in the City Hall area and was sitting in this wild man's office trying to get approved as a Youth Council worker--oh my God, I can't imagine what would have transpired had I taken that worthless piece of shit social-worker job for the Borough of Manhattan the little weasel-like director told me, "Yep, a youth worker first class...commie hater, too, I'll bet"--and then he started graphically telling me about how he was in action in VietNam and he got shot at in VietNam and I knew this idiot was lyin' like a dog, he was obviously too old to have been in 'Nam, but he kept right on spewing forth his VietNam-War heroics, like how the Vietnamese were such clever little devils and how Communism was like Tailgunner Joe said it was a "disease" that needed to be "ridded" from our God-fearing, uptight, neurotic, idiot-filled Amurican way of life. As I was sitting there, the phone rang. He picked it up, grunted a couple of "yeses" and "sures," and then hung the phone up, got up from behind his desk, picked up his hat and his briefcase and said, "Mayor Lindsay has just closed down city government--it's 96 outside and he's closing down the office, wait for my call." And then, like that, he was smokin' out the door. A black dude rescued me. He told me I would be working with him in the Brooklyn field office. "Brooklyn? That's not Manhattan...I thought this was the Manhattan Youth something?" "Naw, it's all combined in all the boroughs; it's the Youth Council Bureau; that's its real name."
When I got home, I was steaming, unsure of whether I had a job or not, and my wife had our air conditioner running full blast and it was still hot as Hades in our 18th-floor apartment on 1st Avenue and 56th Street, our first Manhattan apartment, and I stood in front of that air-conditioner and told my wife why the hell did we leave Texas if the heat was this bad up here.
My wife and I both had been born in Texas where in the summer the temps can easily get up around 100 and hang there for tremendous numbers of days, baking the ground we walked on, drying up all our lakes until our water tasted like gypsum (what they make sheetrock out of) and there were huge gypsum plants all over my part of West Texas. The waters turned brown, too, due to red algae down on the lake bottoms. My hometown had three city water lakes and all of them would belly up when the summer temps hit the 100 level and hung there for a week or two. I have many'a time played baseball as a kid in 98-degree summer weather. One time when I was 16 and playing semi-pro hardball with an oil-drilling company in the Brazos Valley Hardball League and we were playing up by Seymour, Texas, the temp was 110 degrees. All the people in the area said it was just a normal bright sunny summer day to them. Seymour was home of a huge lake, Lake Kemp, the only cool place in that high-and-dry West Texas hellhole and believe me, being right out in the big middle of that lake didn't cool you off much at all, except for the cold beer every Texan who owns a boat has plenty of on board, that is if he's a true pick-up-driving/guntoting Texan.
But in New York City when it gets 90 degrees!
It is now arriving on 5 am. The air though a little cooler is fetid. It'll stick to your skin and squeeze the water out of you. You feel like you need a shower every 5 minutes; yet after the shower, the heat dissolves all the cooling water and leaves you feeling scuzzy.
Three days of at least 90 to 95 everyday, and that includes tomorrow, too.
We New Yorkers dread these heatwaves. One reason is our power supplier, Con (Con jobs)-Edison. They are such crooks. They no longer manufacturer electricity here in NYC for NYC but rather now they all subscribe to this big British-owned power grid--most of our electricity, they say, is brought from Ontario in Canada down here. That grid is the same grid that blew the fuck up in 2003 and left New York Citians in the bloody-filthy-hot (it was in the 90s same as now) brilliant daylight and then a long, suffocating, almost deadly evening, with no electricity, thereby no refridgerator, no air conditioning, no running water, no telephones, nothing, just brilliant sunshine for one whole day and then a full night and then another full day and half a night--I slept with my head out one of my windows and still it was the most suffocatingly devastating HOT night I've ever experienced--and like I said, I come from an environment where summer temps run in the 100s nearly every summer. My hometown only a few years ago went 11 years without rain! Imagine that! And yet, I suffer heat worse here in NYC than I ever did in Texas...or New Orleans for that matter, where the summer heats can get not only stiffling but jungle-rot-like in their airless afternoons below the river level--the Vieux Carre sits several feet below both sea-level and the level of the Mississippi River--though during Katrina, the Vieux Carre wasn't hurt bad at all, unlike the Ninth Ward which was just down Decatur Street from where I lived.
The hottest cities I've ever spent time in were Houston, Texas (suffocating heat in the lowland summertime down in that below-sea-level city); Washington, District of Corruption; and New York City when it's this hot. I have driven through deserts--the Mojave especially; in Santa Fe, I lived up in the foothills above deserts; yet, New York City in the high 90s is the Holiest Hell in this country when it happens.
On top of this shit, I got a chest cold all of a sudden out of nowhere. I hate colds. I hate sickness. Sickness to me is a sign of weakness. Sorry, but that's how I feel, and as a result I'm seldom sick, not even with a cold, though this one jumped down my throat while I wasn't looking and made a mess in my lungs. Sudofed. Need I say more.
Here's What We're Facing Today and Tomorrow in NYC
Wind: NE at 0 mph
Wind: NE at 0 mph
94°F | 74°F
95°F | 74°F
92°F | 67°F
85°F | 61°F
That 94, 95, and 92--that's holy hell for three days.
And, folks, the sad tale don't end here: I have no air-conditioner (I gave it up since the landlord doubled my rent during the summertime when I had one). I'm gonna sweat it out with FANS--three churning up the fetid air right now--and trust me, come 4 this afternoon, it will be 120-degrees in my apartment. I'll go down and buy a bag of ice; sometimes if you put an opened bag of ice in front of a fan it makes it air-conditioner-like for 5 or 10 minutes. More than likely I will end up at my favorite Irish pub taking it easy cool, sipping an ice-cold beer, and talkin' B.S. to the gorgeous Irish waitress who if I were 20 years younger I'd marry her.
And I have a Con-Edison power station only one building east away from me. These facilities are known to blow up and burn on very hot days--if this one blows, then I'm left without electricity for only a CEO knows how long. But then so will these fops paying $2,000-a-room around here in these new high-rise-luxury buildings be without, too, since they are all tied in to this power station next door to me. Some of these new hi-rises you can't open the windows on them--you're sealed into them.
Anyway, like Paul Bowles in the Sahara, I will trudge on today. It's already 80 now. A martyr? No. I've lived through worse times, like I said, or have I?...maybe this one will be the worst one ever, who knows?--and, shit, besides, we have three more months of heat in this town--what a chance to test my survival instincts.
I feel today like reading Charles Montagu Doughty's Arabia Deserta. I'll imagine myself riding a camel all day across this Manhattan Deserta.
And in the middle of the hellish heat came another cool book, Albert Murray's Stompin' the Blues, more of Murray's being hung up in the blue idiom--the source of all his creativity--the Scooter books, the briarpatch books, those I've yet to read, but they are thick on eBay so I'll buy a Scooter book soon. At least in the heat I can read; plus Stompin' the Blues is full of photos, one that especially intrigued me--from 1936, showing a tableful of gentlemen and ladies, some of them looking as though they were chisled from rock they are so tough, some of them laid-back looking, two of them looking so out of place. The caption written on the photo like they did to souvenir photos in those days says "A party in honor of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, Tony's Tavern, [gives the address], Chicago, Ill., 1936." Duke and Louis sitting by each other, cooled out in cool vines--drapery, haberdashery, threads--and what a damn party that must have been. A good book always shows you good times no matter how hard it is to continue toward those good times given the hell most stories have to drop into to become inspiring to readers--and, of course, the writer must drop down into that hell he puts his characters through, too, shouldn't he? I think so--and "the end" should always leave you with good times, even if the hero is killed--he or she dies with an adage on their lips and a smile on their faces--I mean, come on, that's a good ending. As Hemingway wrote, you gotta go through hell to know what it's like coming out on the other side.
Still readin' Jane Eyre and her adventures. She's fixing to fall in love with one of the most pompous and assholey men to ever come down the pike--he literally did meet her coming down the pike--and come on to her, which he will soon do, I hope, unless she follows the life of her creator, Charlotte Bronte, and falls mooningly in love with a guy who can't stand her, thinks she's ugly as sin, and is married to boot and says he would never leave his wife for her--oooog-gah!--of course, Jane Eyre's man isn't married, though he's raising a little girl said to be his illegitimate daughter via a Parisienne opera singer, a woman named Celine. Charlotte seems to want to write sexually but she can't write openly sexually--she has to do it like it's done in her Christian Holy Babble--you know, "And David lay with his own daughter..." She may have wanted to continue on describing how David lay with his daughter, you know, this man of the gods (Yaweh/Allah), and what his feelings were while he was banging his own daughter. Like, was he saying vile things to her, like "Ooooh, baby, your little pussy is tight, like daddy likes it"?--probably, except in Aramaic? not Hebrew?--nobody spoke Hebrew in those old split-up Jerusalem days, did they? Like Jesus, he didn't speak Hebrew, did he? He was a Nazareth slum-area carpenter's son, a rather backward kid--like the Christian Holy Babble even says, something like a Jew talking about Joshua ben Joseph, "What good can come from Nazareth?" I mean, come on, cosmopolitan Jews looked down their noses on Nazareth. But anyway, Charlotte writes sex like the Holy Babble writes sex--"her breasts were like two tender buttons"--no, sorry, that's Gertie Stein--whatever that sex is in The Songs of Solomon, a truly sexual being, with 1000 concubines, and access to the hottest babes in every land, as long as he was filthy rich and sending them jewels and shit--don't worry, folks, both Solomon and David, though they were sexual and warrior deviates, were forgiven their sins because of this solemn covenant the Poppy of the Jews made with the hapless Jews who were conquered and enslaved at will by Egypt, then Babylon, then Rome, then Nazi Germany in WWII--a covenant that makes them the Chosen folk.
Therefore, I forgive Obama his pro-Israeli weird-ass speech he made before the American Jews a couple'a days ago. Still, it bothered me.
By the way, I almost got humped by blogger Rex Hump--I thought he was a kook so I trashed his comments like I do several comments a day--one day I got nine comments from a guy named Adolf. "Hi, loved your blog. It reminds me of adolfhitler.com, which you might find very interesting or helpful if you're in need of a new sailboat or perhaps repairs to your current sailboat...." Sorry, Rex; I thought your humpin' was a Viagra commercial. Test away; I've been humped by the best.
I'm coolin' out listening to Coltrane, too, with McCoy (comp-chording away), Elvin, and Jimmy--oh thou who do not know by first names the members of the John Coltrane Quartet! They are playing "Alabama." Which reminds me of Nina Simone's "Mississippi God-Damn." Or how'bout Monk's "Bright Mississippi"? Then I see Jewell being interviewed on teevee and I'm reminded how juvenile untranscendent and simply romantically foolishly created our current pop music is. Jewell, a one-hit wonder--and I have no idea what Jewell's big high-ranker was, is making a comeback, this time as a country & western artist, revealing for the first time ever that she's as hillbilly as they come having grown up in a cabin without electricity and running water--sounds like a hillbilly mansion to me. Yes, folks, Jewell's gone to Nashville for a celebrity makeover and now she'll hit the charts as a Kelly Clarkson impersonator. The American Idol stars have pretty much crunched our popular music down into hillbilly-like yokel songs--a lot of Southerners win American Idol--clodhopper romantic Elizabethan whines and high-pitched-nasally whangs of unremitted love or hillbilly promises "sang" by white girls and white boys trying like hell to bend their words and phrasings as black as they can--sounding like minstrelsy blackface whites to me, but I'm prejudiced against my own people don't you see?--even the black American Idol winners try so hard to be blacker than they are--remember the big fat Burger-King-burger-eating American Idol winner?--he's now living pretty well, still fat, with his mom out in L.A. in one of those houses L.A. architects build just for celebrities, you know, max tacks, like Shaquille O'Neal's overbuilt L.A. shack. Shaq, who went to LSU, could have personally rebuilt a lot of the black neighborhood (the Ninth Ward) in New Orleans that was wiped out by Katrina and is being left to rot by our caring government. He and Michael Jordan could have pooled their money--hey, throw Magic Johnson in the mix, too, and Okra (I mean, Oprah), yes, folks, they've enough excess millions they waste on mansions, clothes, trips, gambling, partying they could have rebuilt all of the blown-away sections of that once American-different city that is now being made just a plain ole Amurican city, full of whites and tourists and gamblers and hucksters and Donald Trump projects just like every other city in this no-longer very creative country. [It was pretty cool, however, this morning to hear that Ed McMahon is now broke and losing his B-Hills mansion to foreclosure. Poor Ed. And he has a new young wife, too. It was said, he pays one of his ex-wives $50,000-a-month. Hey, young girls (young would-be Jewels and Kelly Clarksons), there's a key to your success--just latch on to one of those old geezer Hollywood creeps, wait it out, he dies, and you're left a millionairess, unless you happen to bank on Ed McMahon--then you're stuck humpin' an 85-year-old Viagra-taker--"Heyyy-yo, I'd be comin' if my pacemaker hadn't blown a fuse."
Let's hope Obama brings some blues back into our lives--let's hope he presides (which is all a president is) over We the People's business, which we call the government. Go, Obama, Go, Man, Go...but then is Obama African-American enough to no how to blow given such encouragement--but then his wife does--she's cool black--the more I see her the more I dig her and not just because she has a great ass, too, though that's a part of it, ladies.
apantinggrowlingwolf(no place for a wolf)
for The Daily Growler