It’s Hotter than Hell in Los Angeles But My Woes Still Won’t Melt Away.
I’ve been in Los Angeles almost a month now. I used to live here before, almost a decade ago. It was different then. I was younger, happier, and purposeful and the weather was cooler than I anticipated. Then came the biblical storm that forced studios to postpone filmmaking and threatened the million dollar homes of celebrities. It eventually passed and left the landscape glistening with promise.
I left a year later. I went back to the concrete pavements of New York City but I regretted my return as soon as I ran into the same bullshit I escaped nearly two years prior.
But I stayed for the same reason I left California. No reason. I just enjoy the chase but when the finish line appears I take the detour back to the very start.
I am starting again. This time, it’s not as much fun. I am older, poorer, bitter and so fucking hot all the time. I can barely remember to get dressed because when you are sequestered in a space that is about 95 degrees and you walk outside where the temps mirror about 100 degrees — putting any form of clothing is torture.
But I can’t walk around naked because I may get arrested. Or maybe not — this is LA after all and I could start a new trend. I will call it “Parasol Chic”. I just purchased one and it’s a vibrantly diligent comrade. I want to walk around in the bikini I paid too much for and carry my tiny umbrella around.
Last Saturday, I almost died. The day before I noticed that my thighs were expanding and even though, I am still fit as a fiddle — I don’t want to be fat.
So, I decided to resume my routine of morning runs. I did a great job but then on the way back, my body started shutting down. The sun was ravaging my wet body and each step felt like I was inching closer to oblivion. I couldn’t see and I was breathing heavily and loudly.
As I approached my destination, I was overcome with mind-numbing solitude, as I understood fully that I could collapse under the rays of the energized sun.
Outstretched at the bottom of the stairs leading to my dwelling place, my hands frozen as a reflector and my eyes open in dismay as I contemplate my final minutes. My mouth slightly open to release the erratic panting of a middle-aged woman. She could’ve been many things but unwilling exited the world as not much at all — except for recorded musings of a life that most can relate to but very few will want as a legacy.
I didn’t die. I threw my wilting physique into the unwelcoming living room and fell to the floor. I was weary with exhaustion and pissed at myself for subjecting myself to an activity that was surely not in my best interest. Parts of me melted away, and the items that remained intact — I doused with thankfully chilled water.
I ventured out again. This time I was armed and ready with my new parasol. But as with almost everything during my journey on earth, no matter how prepared you think you are — there is always something that fucks you up.
I remember walking down the sidewalk, carrying my colorful shield and scratching the hell out of my head. A symptom that all that sweating I had done earlier had clogged my pores — causing my scalp to freak out.
I was sweating again. This is some shit!
I love it hot. The steamier the better because heat is my specialty. I grew up with it. The climate in Nigeria — specifically in Lagos, is a dynamically tropical venue that fed my skin with the nutrients that left me an addict for life. Then several years later, when I was old enough to afford my own vacations, I discovered South Beach and became enraptured with that old familiar feeling.
So, you can say that when it comes to weathering hot weather like a pro, I am more than capable. As I approached my makeshift shelter — I sloppily stumble in and order my iced mocha before sitting down and doing some damn research.
Why was it so fucking hot outside? Suddenly, global warming became my Google phrase of the day. Hypocrite! Now you care about the fact that the earth is literally disintegrating under the fury of human mismanagement.
Well, I stumbled upon unremarkable information that confirmed that Southern California was immersed in a record-breaking heat wave that will be here to stay until whenever.
I get a text message. He’s coming soon and wants me to meet him on the other side of the street. Perfect timing. The unhappy customer just left ranting and when that happens I usually vacate the scene in case he returns with a gun and shoots up the place.
I am waiting under the primed sun because at 3:41 pm — you are being exposed to sauna-like conditions.
Sizzled and hopeful, I enter his vehicle as he apologizes for the mess. He did say he was into imports and exports and he wasn’t pulling my leg.
We arrive at his house. We go inside and head up the carpeted staircase. It’s fucking hot in here too! Jesus! Can’t I catch a break and find a well-ventilated house. Once we reach the top, I know my stay will be jarringly brief. He asks me to remove my shoes and I pretend not to hear.
I willed my phone to vibrate and I answer it. What? She needs me to get to the house right away. I am “speaking” to her as I swiftly head down the dingy staircase and out the door.
I start running and running until I reach the stoplight. I turn around and see him standing there watching me.
He sends me a message — “Why are you running away from me?”
I’m not sure why. His home wasn’t awful — it just looked more like a stuffy warehouse.
But even worse was the fact that it was hot. The heated air gripped me and threatened to mash me with all the socks, sweaters, shoes and everything else he was preparing to ship out.
I am not ready to ship out yet. I am waiting for the incredible heat to melt away all my woes before it passes over.
I feel it happening already….