Droplets of the Heart.

We Northern Californians are now being punished for the deluge that we have enjoyed/suffered over the spring months recently passed; whether the Sun is just making up for lost time or Al Gore has been tipping off ol’ Mother Nature again, we’ve been smitten by furnace-blasting heat over the past few days. I keep looking over my shoulder for the tell-tale, fiery whip trail of the Balrog, but I’m simply doomed to look like a paranoid fool as the sun bears down on us and bleaches our bones and lights our hair on fire. Sorry for the dramatics, but I stop moving when it gets really hot. I get very uncomfortable if there’s no cool ocean breeze to break the relentless convections of heat; it puts me in a restless mood, ever looking for something to assuage the swelter. It’s no wonder I left the Midwest behind for the less humid climate of San Francisco. Most summers are more than bearable, especially within the confines of the City, surrounded on three sides by cool-currented water. But this week has been hellish, in or out of the urban oven.

So it was a pleasure, then, to see how fast the massive, viscous fog bank rolled in from the west this evening, a wispy Flight of the Valkyries to save our surrounded and beleaguered asses. Over the rooftops of the Sunset houses it drifted, following the numbered avenues backward-sequentially, from high to low. By 35th it had really gained momentum, and I spent a few minutes in my back office watching the cotton miasma slide over the neighbors’ peaked roof and into their sculpted back yard. It gets dark rather late here these days, and through the slow approach of our long dusk, the gentle, diffused glow of sodium street-lamps hopelessly flared from behind the taffy womb of clouds. Seen through the bare lattice of a piecemeal wooden trellis, this scenario was all the more interesting and evocative.

The next two nights have me stuck at work with the gaggles of gummy gamers until late, taking care of our weekly events with no assistance, so I decided to take tonight off and suit up for a splendid appearance of Devics at Café du Nord. They haven’t been in S.F. for years, and it was marvelous to have them here at such an intimate venue. There’s something special about standing three feet from the performers and making eye contact during especially poignant fragments of verse – we were part of the process just then. For a tiny, delicate thing, Sara sure has a set of finely-tuned pipes on her. It was an hour of totally immersive, closed-eye grounding. And they’ll be back in August with BHP, which is all the more exciting.


The fog droplets are collecting and running askew on my window just now, the lights of the city reflecting red in the enveloping cumulus above. Whomever said we should not eat just before bed is full of shit. I love the feel of a warm bowl of chicken dumpling soup an hour before climbing underneath flannel sheets. For now, the blazing sun is taking its own nap, and our Fog City is emergent and triumphant in the hours of darkness.

P.S. Thanks to thistlelurid for the inspiration regarding the demure sock puppet. What could be more expressive?

15 Responses to “Droplets of the Heart.”

  1. hermiston Says:
    June 23rd, 2006 at 3:05 am

    I'm glad you got to see and enjoy Devics. Bizarrely they turned up in Aberdeen some months ago but back then I was elsewhere, mind?
    An evocative description of heat. I can almost smell beelzebub over through the rain here.

  2. FunkyPlaid Says:
    June 23rd, 2006 at 11:53 pm

    I can't believe you sacrificed seeing that show to hang out with such a despicable example of a man – and in America, to boot!
    Was good to see them here, even though I went alone, demure and silent for the evening. I bet Sara thought I was stalking her.
    P.S. Saw Szechi's new book at Borders today; had to restrain myself dearly to hold off until September…

  3. hermiston Says:
    June 24th, 2006 at 8:36 am

    Your restraint will be rewarded. It looks good, eh?

  4. vervassal Says:
    June 23rd, 2006 at 3:40 am

    105, 106, 107. Poor you. It's alternating sunny and breezy with damp and dreary out here (the wind is, as always, a constant).

  5. FunkyPlaid Says:
    June 23rd, 2006 at 11:54 pm

    I tell ya, sister…we ain't made for this kind of heat. Think you'll be able to handle it after so long over there in the damp and dark?

  6. jacesan Says:
    June 23rd, 2006 at 4:27 am

    San Jose's been brutal this week as well. I will make it up to your store some time this summer. The group of gamers I started playing with last year are familiar with it. I'll see if I can convince them to take me. Not because I wouldn't be able to find the place, or my vehicle would struggle to get up there, but more people means more business. 🙂

  7. FunkyPlaid Says:
    June 24th, 2006 at 6:55 am

    Hell, I won’t turn down money from *anyone*, and of course you’re welcome to pop in whenever. Also, I never properly thanked you for coming along to the conference; for taking the time out to sit through an hour of yabber. Cheers for that.

  8. jacesan Says:
    June 24th, 2006 at 8:28 am

    My Pleasure
    I learned a lot. I'm embarassed to admit my only prior knowledge of the Jacobites was through Mel Gibson's movie and Highlander.

  9. thistlelurid Says:
    June 23rd, 2006 at 9:42 am

    <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v252/thistlelurid/sockittome/paranoidbig.jpg"&gt;
    Paranoid is STILL my favorite. Kirsten Johnson is inspired.
    Your heat wave traveled north and hit this valley yesterday afternoon…
    looks to be in the 90s+ this weekend. Im passing out your address for
    the complaints…you are warned.

  10. FunkyPlaid Says:
    June 24th, 2006 at 6:57 am

    Hm. Maybe I’ll get a date out of it. Pass it out to worthies, will you?


  11. rachel_eurydice Says:
    June 23rd, 2006 at 1:33 pm

    We're feeling the heat on this coast too–a high today in the low 90s with 80% humidity. The air is positively greasy.
    Weird year–went from winter directly to summer. "Spring" was wet and cold.
    Oh yeah, thanks to you I'm now stuck at work mightily craving chicken and dumplings. Thanks, pal! 😉

  12. FunkyPlaid Says:
    June 23rd, 2006 at 11:58 pm

    You're going to make me hand-deliver you a bowl, aren't you? And don't think I wouldn't…
    P.S. If I were living where you are living now, I'd be nothing but a funkypuddle. Don't see how you can handle it.

  13. rachel_eurydice Says:
    June 26th, 2006 at 11:24 am

    **You're going to make me hand-deliver you a bowl, aren't you? And don't think I wouldn't…**
    *L* Actually, I'm sure you would.
    Too bad we don't live closer together. We could do a dumpling trade.
    I could introduce you to the wonders of southern chicken and dumplings (if you haven't already experienced this).
    Around here, it's called chicken pot pie–It's dumpling dough rolled noodle like things about 3 inches wide. They're cooked with chicken stew meat and cream of mushroom soup.
    It's commonly served with "griddle cakes"–salty corn bread batter poured like a pancake in a frying pan.
    Good stuff!
    **If I were living where you are living now, I'd be nothing but a funkypuddle. Don't see how you can handle it.**
    I've just adapted, or at least learned to dress in loose, thin clothes and carry deodorant/powder/cold beverages with me wherever I go. The only time it bothers me is if the actual temperature goes over about 93, while driving, and trying to sleep (no AC in my truck or the upstairs of the house). Otherwise, we're at least on the coast so there's at least almost always a breeze.
    I'll take this over snow any day.

  14. FunkyPlaid Says:
    June 26th, 2006 at 1:18 pm

    A dumpling trade, eh? I can think of nothing more enticing. I've only ever had the Swanson's variety, so I'm sure yours would be an overwhelming, epiphanic epicurean experience.
    Mmm…dumplings. How do you guys stay fit?

  15. avalokita Says:
    June 24th, 2006 at 7:50 am

    I feel your pain. I hate the heat too.
    I'm doing the count-down to October.

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