"Ok, darlin'. What's the plan for the day?" My hubby was still in his pajamas. We had turned off CNN after getting the latest analysis of T's roller coaster presidency--a ride many of us are on even though we'd rather be coasting in normalcy. Breakfast dishes were put away and the cat was curled up inside. At 9 a.m. the temperature was already 96 degrees.
"Well, I think we need to stay inside as much as possible. I can do quick shopping for cat food and vitamins while you keep the car running. We can go through a Starbucks drive-through and, depending on the heat, a short exercise work-out at the Y. Maybe we'll get lucky and be able to park under the shade of a mesquite tree."
I was trying to assemble my wardrobe options--considering the lightest fabric to wear with a dark t-shirt so I could skip the added layer of a camisole. I had stopped wearing a bra except for rare occasions and when it's this hot, I would go naked if I could.
Still, I didn't want to start off the day in negativity--CNN alerts aside. As I wrote in both my journals today, I am grateful for my house and car, both air conditioned. And most of the places I go have their a.c. cranked several degrees below what we do at home. But I know that going around town today, as we do everyday, we will see men and women, sometimes with their dogs, sitting on street corners, begging for money. Yesterday, I saw an aged woman in long sleeved blouse, long skirt, heavy white socks past her knees and in sandals, walking to a bus stop for shade. She was pushing a grocery cart (one of the rare ones that didn't lock) full of her belongings, so I doubted she was going to take the air conditioned bus for respite.
For those of us in first world situations, a heat wave is an inconvenience. For people on the streets it can be life-threatening.
As I turned on the computer this morning I saw that a horse racing in Del Mar yesterday died of sudden cardiac arrest, injuring the jockey who was riding him. "I bet heat was a factor," I thought to myself as I reflected on the morning radio news that LA had several electrical blackouts yesterday due to overuse of the electrical grid during this heat wave. Animals outside are at risk, too. So are children left in parked cars.
What to do, what to do? Writing is an action I can take. And as the compassionate police chief used to say on the 1980s tv show "Hill Street Blues": "be careful out there."