No, I don't need no steenkin' thermometer. I have my inner thighs. And they told me, loud and clear, that it was a bazillion degrees today, with a bazillion percent humidity. Either that or they're opening a small business, manufacturing and selling sweat by the gallon. I'm not sure how the market for gallons of sweat is looking in light of the current economic crisis, but it seems churlish not to let them try, especially after such an enterprising start early this morning, and lasting all day long.
I'm hotter'n a cat on a hot tin roof.
An egg frying on an inner city pavement.
A lipstick on the dashboard of a car parked in the desert sun.
Speaking of which, did I ever tell you about the night I spent in the desert, dancing like a revelation, lipstick-free beside the parked car that carried me there? No? Well, now's as good a time as any. Pull up a seat, and mind your ass don't stick to the leather. It ain't easy gettin' comfortable in this mess, but we'll do our best.
It was southern California, the Anza-Borrego Desert State Wilderness area, east of San Diego. We were headed for Tijuana, in no particular hurry to get there, or anywhere. We drove all day in sweltering sun through tiny towns with nothing but mexican mercados, and finally turned left off the road and drove straight into an endless sand flat. There was nothing but sand as far as the eye could see, and then the purple hint of mountains framing the distant horizon. We set up the tent as night was falling. There was no one, and nothing, but us, and a car, and a tent.
Even after the sun set, it was so hot I had to strip down to bare skin. I heard coyotes howling in the desert night. I slipped from the tent and looked up to a sky that could swallow you whole. I danced around that tent in the buff, like a woman possessed, under a deep purple sky and yellow moon. I howled with coyotes, and felt each grain of sand under my feet, still hot like the desert secretly embracing the sun after nightfall. The night was empty, and the desert endless, but I felt no fear. This place, as foreign to a northeastern Irish girl as anyplace could be, embraced me like a mother, washed me like baptismal waters, sang to me like a gospel choir, or maybe an angel hovering in the open air between the hot sand and heaven itself.
Eventually, I slept, and the heat woke us at 6 the next morning, like loaves of bread trying to escape the fate of our own baking. We stopped at the first mercado we saw. I drank cold lemonade right from the bottle without stopping, tilting it back until every last drop drained down my throat. I felt the eyes of the mexican merchant men on my legs, clad in torn off denim, and my hair, wild down my back like a pony's mane.
I had the desert in me; of course I was desirable. I was more powerful than the purple black of a moonlit night. Coyotes didn't dare approach me, nude and dancing in the night near a nylon tent home I carried on my back, slow and aimless as a turtle on my way to Tijuana. I could see forever in every direction, to those purple mountain majesties of lore. I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand, got into the car, one foot on the dash, and the other draped out the open car window. We drove off into the southern California sun.
Word has it that tomorrow is supposed to be over 100 degrees as well. California's not on the agenda, and we don't have coyotes in the area so far as I know, but ever since that night, the desert's in my blood, and there's nothing to stop us from stripping down into the green grass clover of our own city yard, dancing 'round groundhog holes like creatures possessed by god, the devil, or the lunatic love child rumored to be born to the two of them after one crazy night in Tijuana.
If I disappear from these here internets, know that I'm off making my fortune selling sweat to mercados in southern California. With the oil market being what it is, somebody out there's gotta be crazy, or crafty, enough to try a new method for frying tortillas. And if this heat keeps up, I'll tell you something: my thighs? Oh baby, they can supply.