I been trying to scrape up the energy to post something, but energy seems to be thin on the ground these days. Mostly, it’s hot. I know my readers everywhere but here have been dealing with the atmosphere turning into something like a slow roasting oven, but this is San Francisco! We do not do hot weather. It is an outrage. Records all over the place being broken, with temperatures over 100, which is something in Celsius, who knows? It is fucking hot, how’s that?
My house has no air conditioning, which is pretty much never a problem, except when it is. Like now. How I hate to climb into a bed with the sheets already warm. And only a sad fan huffing hot air around like that helps.
Last night, in the middle of sweating and being grouchy, I suddenly smelled smoke. Wildfires are all around us and smoke has been kind of a background scent for weeks, but this was, suddenly, much stronger and getting more pungent fast. More neighbors and I gathered in the street in this vague sort of way, asking each other “Do you smell smoke?” I think if I had announced “No, I do not” in a firm voice, everyone would have just said “Oh, great. Thanks” and wandered back home. Instead, I said, I was calling the Fire Department. There was a sense of great relief. Turns out no one wants to be the one to deal with bureaucracy, but I worked for the government my whole career. Bureaucracy is my home turf.
So I called and the emergency operator was incredibly chill. Speaking with her was like tuning into the Mellow Jam Hour. Eventually the firetrucks rolled in, one on each end of the street, cause apparently someone else called and one end of the my street is one fire station and the other end is another. Fine with me, they were as cute as the cliché. When you apply to be a firefighter, do you have to send in a headshot?
The tromped through my house, complimented me on both my decorating and my garden (this is so San Francisco) and poked around in the brush that fills the canyon behind me. We all agreed, yes, you could smell the smoke (which made me feel better; at least I’m not crazy in that general direction,) the short cute one said “It doesn’t smell like a brush fire, it’s too sweet.” “Like cedar” I said and he agreed with charming enthusiasm. If it got any more gay cozy, we were all going to have to plan brunch.
We went back out front and the truck from the alien firehouse came down to chat with their fire man buddies (probably planning brunch) and eventually toddled on off. The smoke faded, still with no cause, and the cat and I went back to watching porn.
The hot weather finally broke around dawn, but the huge fire down in Los Angeles has already made its way up here and is making my eyes burn and my sinuses dribble down my throat. I’m slowly drowning in my own snot.
On to more weather news, but this without humpy firemen. My father, my remaining brother, 5 of my nephews andneices and their nigh countless children, all still live in Houston, where a no-big-deal hurricane hit late last week and then stalled and dumped an astonishing flood. More than 50 inches in one day. San Francisco’s annual rainfall average is less than 24 inches.
My brother and I have been texting, him airily assuring me everything’s fine, which is what everyone in my family says right up to the point when they have to scramble out of the kitchen window to escape. When I was in high school, the morning I was supposed to leave on our senior trip, our neighborhood was so flooded, my neighbor and classmate Stephanie and I were ferried out in a National Guard truck. We made quite an entrance at school that day. And then Stephanie and I went off to the beach for the weekend, leaving our mothers behind to cope. But they were tough old Texas gals, didn’t bother them. Probably glad to be rid of us, they spent the day drinking beer and watching to see if their houses were going to flood. The houses didn’t, but they did run out of beer and so they talked the National Guard guys into giving them a ride to the liquor store.
Now that, motherfuckers, is Texas.