Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cooling Off


"What do you want for breakfast?" Mr. Wonderful asked entering the kitchen.
"Just ice," I said standing under the spinning ceiling fan.
"You want coffee?" 
"Just ice."
"How about tea?"
"Just ice!"

Here are some facts about Southern California: 1) It's always sunny; 2) It never rains; 3) Sun block is considered clothing. Every day I see people walking around with shorty shorts and tiny tanks and lathered in sun block. See, they wear it like clothing. 

A SoCal fact you may not know is that lately it's been hot. I don't mean 85 degrees F hot. I mean, you have entered hell, your face is melting and your body is a huge puddle of oil. In other words, 105 on the thermometer and zero humidity.

To deal with the heat I've noticed each of our neighbors has his own method. Harold rushes out at 5:00 AM to get the paper and hoist his flag. Then he and Norma disappear into their house and sit in front of their air conditioner. All day. 

Charles and Stephen avoid their house altogether. In the morning they go to work and sit in their air conditioned offices, afterwards they eat dinner in an air-conditioned restaurant, they end the night at an air conditioned club where they dance like Burning Man participants until 3 AM.

As for me, I get in the pool and swim. Before work, after work, during work--day dreaming here. The pool is my heat refuge. 

Evidently I'm not the only one.

After my ice breakfast, Mr. Wonderful and I made the rounds we looked at: Our withering tomato crop; Our dry cacti; The lizard in our pool--

What?!

Sure enough a Southern California Alligator Lizard was floating in our swimming pool. 
"He's not moving," Mr. Wonderful said.
"Maybe he's dead."
"He's a lizard, they like water."
"He's from Southern California, he's never seen water!"

Mr. Wonderful grabbed the pool net and scooped the lizard out. He set the net with the lizard on the sun-warmed red bricks and we stepped back. Was it dead?

I inched closer and the animal opened its mouth and hissed at me. Actually it didn't hiss, but if it could have hissed, it would have been the biggest roar-hiss ever. Instead it just opened its toothless mouth. Was it trying to scare me? Was it trying to cool down? Did it want some of my ice?


Maybe not. We left it alone and went to work. When we came home the net was right where Mr. Wonderful had left it but the lizard was gone. 

Whew! The lizard hadn't died. The lizard was alive. And the lizard was back in its lizard home eating its own supply of lizard ice. Definitely.