Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Heat Wave

It's Getting Personal

The heat is getting to me, Bush. I am becoming bad-tempered and mean-spirited. More than usual, I mean. It is early as I scribble this down to transcribe later, and I went to bed too late. I left my glasses in the bedroom and I don't have the heart to risk waking Ellie, who also went to bed late and who needs more sleep than I do. Without my glasses, I cannot even see to use the computer. I have no pen. I left them all in the office upstairs and again the dog and I between us would wake Ellie if I ventured forth into the house. I have a pencil.. I rarely use a pencil. And a scrap of paper. I will scribble these thoughts down and catch up with our diary a little later.

The heat. It has been unsparing now for days--it feels like weeks and months. We are more than fortunate to have air conditioning in our new house, but every time I hear the blower roar I feel guilty about the energy it uses. Besides, I do not like the shut-in feeling that results from having all the doors and windows closed.

I understand that I must sound unusually churlish this morning, and also that I am not alone. The heat wave is searing the entire country, east to west and north to south. There are people suffering far more than you or I, Bush, in our comfortable abodes--you in your White House, I in my more modest dwelling, perched at the east end of the Hollywood Hills. From here, I look out over the baking city and am thankful to be relatively cool.

Global warming? I was reminded by the news last night of the European heat wave a couple of years ago that took 31,000 lives in France, Germany, Spain, Italy... Thirty-one thousand! I was amzed to realize that I had forgotten such a disaster. But that's the way we are, Bush, isn't it? If it doesn't affect us personally, we immediately let disaster slide past unheeding. Katrina recedes in the memory of most of us who have not been directly affected by its ravages, only to pop us once in a while when the city's tradegy hits the news again for a few moments. The war in the Middle East is too distant to affect us. Oh, yes, we listen to the news, or watch it, and we are horrified by the slaughter (6,000 Iraqi civilians dead since May of this year alone, Bush! Six thousand!) We may even register a protest in whatever way we can. But essentially we feel powerless and tend to let it pass.

Which is why I choose to sit and write these entries with you every day. To stay conscious--or perhaps to stay as conscious as I can. To not let things slip past without taking the trouble at least to note them down. Perhaps even to do this one small thing to encourage others, also, to stay awake with me.

Because you win, Bush, when I go to sleep. You and your political people, who want nothing better than unconscious minds that let you go about your business unquestioned. You and your corporate friends, who want nothing better than unconscious minds to do their bidding, to go out and buy, to consume--so that they, the corporate warlords, can lay their hands on the collective wealth and make it their own.

And it's tempting, Bush. It's so tempting just to go to sleep and let it pass. Especially in this mind-numbing heat. Especially when it gets hard to rouse oneself in the morning and there's no pen to hand. No glasses. No computer. Just a pencil and a scrap of paper.

And then I remember the pleasure of sitting out on the balcony last night in the warmth of the evening, with a group of friends, a glass of wine, a potluck dinner, watching one of the most glorious sunsets we have seen from this new home--a sunset glorified, I'm sure, by the heat coming off the surface of the planet and the clouds that accompany the humidity. And I remember the perfect, gleaming, intricately-woven spider's web down in the garden--I took our group of friends down there to marvel at it--with the spider herself sitting watchfully, dead center, waiting for the result of her hard work to perform its necessary task... I remember these things and I realize that, after all, it is worth the effort of staying awake.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, rest assured: President Bush is feeling very cool and comfortable with the air conditioner built into his lecturn.

This enables to him to look cool and comfortable in the sunshine and miserable heat of Miami.