Waiting for Virgil
That title got me to thinking, how would Beckett write about this heat? How would Rimbaud? Today, here in Gotham, the weather babes are all with raised high eyebrows but still managing to smile warning us dumbass Citizens of New York City that by this afternoon, say three, the predicted temperature is 99, but given most of New York City that is exposed to the direct meanness of our true God--yes, God the Father, God the Sun, and God the Vulcan--is asphalt, black in color, a sun-absorbing color, that 99 is going to feel like 110.
Here I sit at 4 in the morning--during heat waves I sleep all day and work all night. Right now according to my computer it's 85, which is pretty damn hot for 4 am but still my fans are blowing cool air. The air is already thick though. The humidity is the killer in this, not our God. The humidity is already causing me to sweat around the outer edges of my hair--a tickly sweat.
I'm so stuck to my routine, like the postman hidebound to making his deliveries no matter the weather, I'm already anticipating getting my morning coffee and chocolate croissant from the Aghan-American young man who's had my morning coffee ready for me by 5:30 every weekday morning for 4 years now.
The record for this day in NYC is 101 back in 1957. However, since I've lived in NYC, for yeah these many moons now, I've seen 100 before; I've seen 103...and in 2003, I survived a black out with temps up in the high 90s...and that is my biggest anxiety, Con-Ed blowing up; the power grid failing again--it is run by Brits.
Tonight is going to be brutal. The temp is not expected to fall much below 80 tonight--oh but I complaineth too much...but I don't complain because I love heat, I was born in heat, and why not die in heat...then sobeit. If my apartment gets too ovenish, then I'll wander out and go across the street and sit in front of one of the store doors where the cold air comes out through the cracks.
thegrowlingwolf at 5:10 am; the temperature is 85 degrees. I see the sun a'risin'.
9:33 am: I'm telling myself it's not so bad. I hear a siren in the distance. It's a fire engine. You live in New York City long enough you recognize sirens. Somewhere down below me I hear lumber being dropped or thrown about. Poor slobs having to work in this heat. It's 94 already--here's what we're facing here for today and tomorrow:
101 | 79 °F
Right now it's stuffy, yes, but it's bearable. Amy Goodman is railing on NYC's Pacifica station, WBAI-FM (they are perpetually begging for money) about President Obama, a Democrat, joining hands with John Bonehead, the Repugnican, to show his belief in Reaganomics--President Obama the Wall Street Democrat. President Obama believes in the trickle-down theory--Milton Friedman economics. Amy can't believe it, but I can--I've said all along Obama's admitted many times over that Reagan was his hero and his other heroes are Wall Street investors (GAMBLERS). I sit here comfortable in what is perhaps going to be a record-breaking day in NYC weather history. Tomorrow looks to be more of the same. And tomorrow looks so bleak and backwards in both weather and politics. Obama is an idiot. John Bonehead is an idiot. We the People are being ruled by small-populated-state States Rights racist far-right nutjobs. HOWEVER, the truth is, the American voters put these Teabagger nutjobs into office, didn't they? Correct me if I'm scalded out of my skull by this intense God who is ruling down with a vengeance on me today. They voted for the Teabagger governors of Wisconsin and Michigan. Wisconsin voters obviously are idiots. Michigan voters have always been idiots. The political reality is off on a fantasy trip. The weather reality is sitting fucking down on top of all us fools all across the country--global warming!! It's not global warning--it's God punishing us for same-sex marriage and allowing Gays and Lesbians in God's almighty US Armed Forces. I can't believe the politics; I can believe the weather.
11:52 am: Don't get me wrong, it's hotter than Holy Satanic Hell outside, but me, I'm cool as the proverbial cucumber, though I must admit I can feel an encroaching stale air that is very hard to breathe. According to the weather babes on teevee, the heat index is already at 104. I was out; went to the Korean bank, the Woori Bank--yes, Koreans don't put their money in US banks--then check out how it is revealed that Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve printed up 16 trillion dollars worth of good old worthless US bucks in order to further bail out not only American banks but foreign banks as well. My question is, why can't Good Old Busholite Bernanke print up 16 trillion bucks and shovel it into Medicare and Social Security thereby saving them from extinction. I can't believe these assholes are finally getting their way on destroying Social Security. Their plan is to eventually privatize it and throw its pool of trillions into the stock market, give the stock market a huge burst of rallies and bull(shit) sessions and make stockholders even richer than they already are. And We the People elected this Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton because he said he was going to Change things, "Yes, We Can," he ballyhooed in his best Ivy-League accent. I mean this man filled, what was it, Soldier Field in Chicago, filled it for a campaign rally--remember? The stands packed with smiling excited and proud Blacks and eager-faced-believing young White folks...why even some WASPs among those crowds...people surprised by the charm and intelligence of this Black man. And every where he went these crowds packed around him and he stood in front of them sternly, seriously, and he shoveled out some of the most hopeful...I started to say "promises"--like guaranteeing us he would not touch Social Security or Medicare--but, no, I'm sorry to say, it was hopeful BULLSHIT! "YES WE CAN!" Turned out to be BULLSHIT. This heat stirs me up as a writer. It always has. Some of my best writing has been done in heat. A great short story I wrote on the roof of the Hotel Sevilla on Calle Serapio Rendon in Mexico City, me, like sitting out in the middle of Mexico City when it was an island in the middle of a huge ancient lake--high atop that hotel--I exaggerate, the Hotel Sevilla was a 6-story building--but it was high enough that from the roof you could look off west directly down at the Angel area, Zona Rosa, and the Hotel Maria Isabel--where if I get to reminiscing I get to remembering being in the Maria Isabel lounge and hearing Trios Los Panchos...and when it was hot in the afternoons in Mexico City, you were always assured that around 4:30 some rains would come washing down off the mountains to pour across the city and cool it down right at tiempo siesta,,,you didn't go out to dinner in those days until 9.
1:12 PM: According to the Weather Underground, it's now 99.4 degrees in my Zip Code. I think we're gonna break the record! Heat index is 106 degrees now. Hot damn. I'm still feeling cool as hot ice. I remember as a kid being fascinated by a Fats Navarro recording called "Red Ice." I don't expect anybody to remember Fat Girl. Remember, I'm obsolete. Oh, of course, several of my close friends, my musician friends certainly, will know who Fat Girl was. I can feel this heat heating up now. The Sun is a high sun. It is just now High Noon on the Urban Range. "Do not forsake me, oh my darlin'/On this our wedding day---ehhh/" That's Tex Ritter singing the theme song to the Gary Cooper movie High Noon. The hottest temperature I was ever in was the first day I drove off the plateau on which sits Mesa, Arizona, and boogied down into the valley in which sits Phoenix. It was around the first of July way back yonder when--I'd just graduated from college and I and my college roommate (by then a successful dime-novel writer) decided we were going to L.A. and see what we could see and feel out the situation out there. We drove into Phoenix both us and the car panting for a cool breath of air and I looked up at a Valley National Bank's digital read out of time and temperature and the time was 1:45 pm and the temperature was 118 degrees. We pulled my smoking Chevy into a cool-looking building housing the New Yorker Bar. It must have been on Van Buren since we came into Phoenix from the east via Apache Junction and Superstition Mountain. And inside the New Yorker it was refrigerated cool and the locals told us it could get to 120 but that not to worry, the temp would quickly drop at nightfall down into the 50s and 60s. I wrote my girlfriend back in my hometown a poem on a New Yorker Bar napkin--a silly poem about how much I was wishing she were with me so we could make mad love in the heat. This is right before when later we were in Los Angeles, out in Anaheim in the Disneyland parking lot, and after finding out we didn't have enough scratch to get in the Disneyland gates, I spotted a new Chevrolet with Texas license plates now parked right next to my Chevy with Texas license plates--and for some strange reason I felt compelled to wait and see who would finally come to get in this car. My roommate said I was nuts, but he also was curious--I mean come on, how coincidental is it for two Chevys with Texas license plates to be parked by each other in the Disneyland parking lot? And sure enough it wasn't but about 15 minutes and two cold Burgermeisters later when sure enough here came two hot babes toward the new Chevy, one a tall rather skinny girl with short black hair and the other a shorter exotically beautiful young woman with a dark brown complexion and long raven black hair, so round and so firm and so fully packed, too; and soon my roommate and I were jiving with these certified Texas girls, trying to get them to go out with us, but they said they had to get back to Anaheim where the tall skinny one was staying with the short raven-haired exotic one and where they were expected for a special dinner at her father's Baptist church muy pronto. I gave the short exotic girl my phone number back in Dallas and she said she was moving back to Texas soon, to Grand Prairie, the first turnpike city you came to leaving Dallas and going west toward Fort Worth on the Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike. Two years later, back in Dallas, I came home early from work one afternoon to find my roommate (not the dime-novel writer but an old hometown buddy I'd gone to college with, too) sitting and talking to this absolutely marvelous looking very light-White-complected short raven-haired exotic beauty--"Hey, Wolfie, I want you to meet Tipton's girlfriend from North Texas..."--Tipton was a rancher's son who was in my roommate's fraternity at NT and was staying with us for that summer--"Wolfie, this is Jacqueline Maria...." Howdy-do, cheerio and a pip-pip and all that--and I lit up my pipe and was prancing around my living room puffing and pompously posing for this absolutely fantastic woman. I was so taken with her, when she left, I had my roomy get her phone number by hook or crook from Tipton--which Jimbo got me, and a few nights later I called her and she was surprised to hear from me, yes, she remembered me, and, yes, she was going to be in Dallas for the summer and, yes, she had just moved back to Grand Prairie from Anaheim, California. And you can figure the rest of this story out...anyway, it turns out, yes, this Jacqueline Maria was the short exotic girl with the long raven-black hair I'd hit on two years earlier in that Disneyland parking lot--the girl I would a year later marry.
Ah, the heat takes me back...and now, though I'm breathing heavy hot air, I'm still cool, my fans working fine--in fact, it's 2:01 pm now--it's getting close to my bed time.
I'm just back from a trip across my street to the post office. Oh my Gott in Himmel, folks, it was so hot standing on the sidewalk in front of the post office I could feel my face blistering. Unbelievably it is cooler in my apartment than it is on the street. One nice thing is, there is a young illegal immigrant worker dismantling the scaffolding that has hidden the oldest building still standing on Broadway for the past 10 years--I can't imagine how this poor slob is surviving working in such heat and handling hot pieces of iron, too--but the top part of the old building that has been restored to its original state is now showing and it's as one of my fellow tenants said, "It's one of the most beautiful buildings in the city!" It is a beautiful building and the restoration work looks like real stonework except it's molded iron. I'm going to take a shower and go up in my loft and see if I can sleep off the rest of the afternoon--wake up around 7:30 and venture out for grub.
5:21 pm: They say it got up to 104, though currently it's 102.5 and the Sun is melting off the edge of the earth going looping west, sailing out way past New Jersey and on over Pennsylvania and beyond...while here now the worst is over. I slept about an hour...my loft bed fan was blowing solid boiling air, like when an automobile's radiator boils over, that hot radiator water spewing up to steam the air and make it hard to breathe. A bottle of cold water I drank from before falling asleep, when I woke up and took a drink was like sweet hot like the water that comes from the hot water tap. But the heat is relaxing. The temperature is sliding creepingly down, though they're predicting it won't fall to much lower than 82 tonight--which may be worse in terms of sleeping or staying awake than it was at the height of the heat today.
The Daily Growler "Sun Day 1" EditionOur next checking in on the Wolf Man's trip through an Hadean New York City will be who knows when--only God knows--though keep checking in for spontaneous reports--unless the Sun doth slay the wolf.