Hot enough for ya, People?
Ridiculous. It’s happening and it’s all of our faults. We ruined the planet. Time to adapt or leave. I know, I know. And go where? Maybe devolve and grow gills and move back into the water.
I’m weird. I like it when it gets up around 113°. It’s mind-altering. That has been known for centuries. It’s like time spent in the desert. That’s when you see things. Manna and burning bushes. You don’t need drugs, you need heat. As someone who has been sober for almost 19 years, I welcome the occasional natural freebie. It seems that my metabolism slows down in the heat. My blood feels like mud in my veins. I’m a bit queasy. Light-headed. Spaced. I don’t move much.
I spent some time over the weekend dealing with boots. Polishing. Bringing them in for repair. I sat out on my porch in the 100° heat and slowly, methodically polished up one of two pairs of White’s boots that I had been neglecting. It’s a Zen chore. After the polish I had to bring the unpolished pair in for new heels. When I get it in my head to do something, especially non-urgent tasks, I get them done compulsively asap. The guy I used to go to for boot work retired or died. His store is gone. The last time I was in there he didn’t seem great. He was rolling a respirator around. Hopefully he’s just sitting at home, breathing easier. I don’t know.
I reluctantly went to another old man across the street that I had gone to in the past. I was nervous to go there because the last time he didn’t have the right sized sole for my boots and he said he would make them work, trim them, grind them down. TMI. I just want them to look and feel right. I don’t need to hear about unnecessary challenges and making do. They looked fine, great even, but the experience stuck in my head. I didn’t think it could happen again. When I went back he didn’t have the right sized heel. I thought, ‘fuck.’ It was huge. He said he would trim it and grind it down. Of course he needed cash so I walked three blocks in the 100°-plus weather to the bank.
In minutes I was almost hallucinatory, sweating, riding the edge of heatstroke. But I liked it. A haze was closing in around my vision, everything slowed down. I felt the earth screaming as air-conditioned cars whizzed by. ‘We’re so fucked,’ I thought. We gambled like children trying to get away with something and now we just wait to get caught in the catastrophic disaster of the big shift on all fronts, for the worst. ‘Nothing matters anymore,’ I thought, nearly passing out.
I made it to the bank and back. Paid the old man. Went home. In two hours my boots were done. I went back. They looked perfect. He said, ‘You were worried but I love what I do so I do great work I am proud of.’ That seemed like a solid reason to live. I took those boots home and polished them perfectly to match those perfect heels.
Today I talk to the wise and talented Boots Riley about music, life and his new film ‘Sorry to Bother You.’ Good talk. Also, a little talk with Bobcat Goldthwait, too. On Thursday I talk to the one and only Ray Liotta about his career, life and New Jersey. Great talk. Plus a short drop-in by David Sedaris.