Monday, September 7, 2015

Dog Days

Tacos on La Brea

It needs to rain here, but it won't because it's September, the hottest month of the year.

Memory: One time I was walking home from the pool in my neighborhood, wearing only my swim team bathing suit and some sandals. I was a very brown girl, tanned easily and never burned. A sheen of sweat on my skin, and drops off my scalp, down my face, my back. My skinny legs mosquito-bitten, knobby knees. I made my way up a particularly steep hill, the heat waves undulating off the black tar of the road. It was Georgia in August. I don't remember being with anyone, not even my sister. I stopped at someone's driveway, and little black dots danced in front of my eyes right before I collapsed.


  1. I love the tacos photo! I had a similar childhood experience riding my bike on a hot day in Florida. I got so overheated I knelt down and wiped muddy water, from a puddle in a dirt road, on my face. I didn't pass out but I was pretty close.

  2. I passed out one time at a parade, cannot remember anything except being brought home and forced to drink Gatorade...

    What happened then? I assume you were found...Scary to pass out that way...

  3. What does it say about our culture, or me, that a girl walking alone in a bathing suit provokes my sense of jeopardy. Clearly someone found you and brought you home, because here you are. Woman, how you write.

  4. I have been to California once and it was the only time in my life I got heatstroke. And it was in September. I thought I was going to die and I couldn't go to the hospital because I was young and foolish and didn't know anything about travel insurance.

    I was also wondering what happened?

    Do you ever get food from those taco stands? I would be very nervous to eat at one.

  5. Wow, that was transporting. I was that little girl for a minute - hot, sweaty, squeaky clean from the pool. That's what good writing should do - take you right there. Thanks so much for a sweet little summer memory .

  6. I remember the days of August being so hot that the tar patches in the road in front of our house would start to bubble and my little sister's favorite thing to do was sit cross-legged in the middle of the street popping them, one by one, with her fingers. I can recall getting yelled at for letting her get her fingers all sticky and black, but there was something in me that couldn't bear to stop her from doing it because she loved it so much - it was like a zen-state. I never really thought about it, but now I find it ironic that they were angry about her filthy hands but not how dangerous it was to sit outside in the middle of the street when it was over 100 degrees. They just didn't want tar on the furniture or the walls.



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