I recently attended a marvelous donkey pie party in the near wilds of rural Oregon. (see apiferafarm.blogspot.com) The day of the party turned out to be rather a hot one. In the early morning hours it was lovely, even in the washraggy condition I was in from a not inconsiderable amount of wine and laughter the night before. I had heard that Oregon sparkled, and indeed that morning the hummingbird and bee-buzzing herb gardens & lavender fields of the lovely Apifera Farm were all a-spangle. And perhaps it was the glitterati motif that lead me to choose a gossamer and spangle dangling apron to model in my new, but long coveted, shin high black boots. A huge & luxuriant fennel happened to be at hand, and since I had the boots I'd wanted for so long, I plucked two lacy fronds of the finely scented plant to serve as surrogates for two other things I've wanted for a long time - gills. (google axolotl ((Nahuatl for "water doll")) if you want to see the type I long for.)
All this was well and good, and amusing too - for awhile. Floods of visitors came, to visit with the donkeys and have some pie, which was the point, but steadily the numbers and the temperature rose until my gills wilted and fell off. "My apron was dragging the ground." to paraphrase the waterdog in that famous Cherokee story. When the top of the thermometer blew off, spewing quicksilver like a cheap volcano, I left off my coy singing under the redwood tree in the yard and retreated into the artist studio, where, by laying very flat on the concrete floor, I managed to suck some coolness into what had not been evaporated of me.
The guests, most likely heat-addled, seemed unfazed - peering about at art as though that were a perfectly sane thing to do in an oven. Even their chattering voices, like barn swallows from hell, began to grate ever so slightly on my inflamed nerves, and I secretly had some very unkind thoughts about strokes and removal. "Oh - I didn't see you there!" said one, as they stepped over my proneness. "I'm melting." I replied. Oh for a ruby slipper at times like those.
As the minutes crawled on, like parched ants in a desert groin, my official "bad hour" - 3 pm - arrived. That's a time when I'm especially unfit for human company, and I know it - so I slipped secretly into the house and slid myself into the partially opened refrigerator to guzzle beer and rub my feverish brow with a frozen brownie. I was trying to survive.
Whilst I gnawed icy chocolate between surreptitious gulps of micro-brew, my coddled brain recalled a story concerning the origin of a hot spring that I visited once on Mount Olympus, not so far North of my immediate stew-point. It seems that two giant Lightning Fish, of the sort they have up there, were engaged in a titanic battle. But the forces of each monstrous fish, expressed in the hotter-than-the-surface-of-the-sun lightning that emanated from the clattering together of their metallic scales, were so equally matched that neither could prevail. Eventually, after what is understood as an interminable battle, the two steaming Lightning Fish slunk off to their respective dens, where the heat of their frustration boiled up out of the earth to create the pools of the hotsprings, reeking a bit of sulphurous egg rot as befits their emotional origin, but, also, by the laws of contrairiness which govern magical cures and curses, a remedy for frustration - the most potent enemy of the imagination imaginable.
Writing this today was my cure for writer's block, and a host of other minor annoyances. So I say; If you can't stand the heat, go to the kitchen for beer and brownies.