Friday, September 12, 2003

it's too darn hot

I never realized that this, one of Cole Porter's best-known songs, was from 'Kiss Me Kate' until a couple of months ago, when I saw a production of said musical at the Woodminster Amphitheater in Oakland. Adequate production, great song; maybe the best number of the show. Chorines in tap pants, a guy with a great deep voice, a sultry night.

It so applies tonight. We're having our Indian Summer, so it's suddenly 90 degrees, and all over the Mission people were sitting outside or driving slowly down the street, stereos thumping. Snufkina and I (hello pretty girl!) had made a plan to go hot-tubbing, which seemed a little unnecessary after the first round of soak and sweat. So we hunted down an open coffee shop in our usual diffuse way, marked by repeated calls to information, and I tried to explain the sidestroke by bracing myself on a chair at the ribcage and paddling pathetically in the air.

Which reminds me in turn of a short bit of prose from the Cuban playwright/poet Virgilio Pinera:


I've learned to swim on dry land. It turns out to be more practical than doing it in the water. There is no fear of sinking, for one is already on the bottom, and by the same token, one is drowned beforehand. It also avoids having to be fished out by the light of the lantern or in the dazzling clarity of a beautiful day. Finally, the absence of water keeps one from swelling up.

I won't deny that swimming on dry land is somewhat agonizing, one is quite alive, quite alert, listening to the music entering through the window and watching the worm crawl across the floor.

At first my friends criticized this decision. They fled from my glances and sobbed in the corners. Happily, the crisis is past. Now they know that I am comfortable swimming on dry land. Once in a while I sink my hands into the marble tiles and offer them a tiny fish that I catch in the submarine depths.

How quickly can one catch a cold? I was out with Snufkina for a few hours; she was sick and I was well. I'm home now and sniffling. I refuse to believe that the two things are related. It can't happen that fast, right?

The heat makes it difficult for me to hold a thought, and I'm sleepy from a day of cleaning and studio rearrangement. I suppose when other people decide all the furniture must move, they ask for help...I seem incapable of waiting for such a thing. One of the worktables is now in a much better space, and I have revealed whole colonies of dust aliens. I moved a bookshelf, thinking all the while of Josh Kornbluth describing his father moving a bookshelf down several flights of stairs--with the books still in it. I don't know why I'm so inclined tonight to quote everyone else's work. Maybe because I'm feeling so scattered myself.

Finished reading Mike's book Too Much of Nothing. It's really good. At first it was a little weird, because the narrator's voice in my head was Mike's, and he's about twice the age of his narrator. But I got over it. As jealous as I am (is that the word I want? I can never distinguish between jealous and envious) of Mike's tenacity and command of the language, I'm also very inspired by his example. He thought I was joking when I said I was going to treat his readings like rock concerts and holler and throw my panties...heh heh heh...I'd do that thing with my lighter, too, but here in smoker-hostile Cali, I think just brandishing a lighter is probably enough to get one dragged away by the heels and locked up.

Man, we had a bad thing happen around being locked up recently--two seperate women suing because they claim that after being arrested (on minor charges) they were forced to spend the night in holding cells without any clothes. Like the SFPD needed any more egg on their face. I don't understand how the cops get away with stuff like that. I am probably a lot more pro-cop than many people I know--living in places that get broken into, one sometimes befriends the police who show up at the scene--but this is wretched.