This Sunday was well named, and all day I hid from its namesake, going out only when it had sunk low enough to leave my back yard completely in shadow. There I sat for a while, awaiting the dusk, and almost fell asleep again as I had on Saturday evening. Outside, it remained sultry for hours after nightfall, but it has now cooled enough that I can sit and listen to the crickets in reasonable comfort. There are quite a few more crickets this year than last year. I'm pretty sure I'm hearing at least five, two a bit north along the trail and three a bit south.
There are also quit a few daddy long legs spiders in the back yard this year, including a couple hanging around the porch light, right next to the back door. This pair keep stringing webs across the doorway, and I have to keep sweeping them down. I still sometimes get strands of web on me when I go in or out. and it's getting very annoying. I think a complete cleaning may be in order. I usually don't try to get rid of spiders altogether (except black widows) as I like having them catch the flying insects, but this pair have become such a nuisance that they really must go.
I keep forgetting to water the back yard plants, and a few are looking a bit wilted. It wouldn't do to have so many plants die on me, as they would make quite a mess, not to mention a fire hazard, and I'm sure the landlord would be displeased. Right now it looks a bit like a tropical jungle out there, and if the plant started dying and turning brown it would look more like, well, California. The heat even seems a bit easier to endure when there are a lot of green plants about. I'll try to remember to water them tomorrow... today, that is, since it's after three o'clock in the morning. I should actually be trying to get to sleep now.
I've lost track. Recent sleep patterns have confused me. I think it was Tuesday I went to Grocery Outlet, and I haven't been out since, though I think about it every afternoon. It's just way too hot. I'm almost out of chocolate though, and I'm not sure I can survive without that, so either I have to brave the heat and get to Trader Joe's within a few days or I have to get somebody to pick some up for me. A terrible addiction. I should have started using heroin instead. It would be easier to do without.
Looking at the weather forecast is almost unbearable. Loads of triple digit days, and the rest of them in the high nineties. My head already feels as though it is stuffed with sand. My stomach also feels stuffed, even though I've eaten very little today. It's probably from the half gallon or so of liquids I've downed, trying to avoid dehydration. I'm surprised that my sweat isn't creating weather in the apartment. In short, it's pretty damned miserable in here. How nice it would be to spend an afternoon at the beach. But there's no way I'd be travelling that distance, even if I had the opportunity. I think I'm stuck here for the duration.
It's pretty late. I think I've been asleep since around eight o'clock, maybe earlier. Thursday was nothing again. I thought about going out, but got too tired by the time it got less hot, so didn't. I don't think I even checked the mail box today. Waking from the late nap I didn't feel sleepy anymore, and I didn't feel rested. All I felt was sadness and anxiety. Yesterday I'd have calculated the odds of going crazy while stuck in this place at about 50/50. Today I have to say they've gone up to 51/49. If this trend keeps up I'll be slipping into madness within two months.
There was grilled cheese on sourdough for late lunch/early dinner, which might have been what made that depressing nap necessary. I might have felt a bit better if there had been a casaba, but I keep forgetting to look for them when I'm in the store, and when I remember to look the stores don't have them. I miss them. I'd settle for a crenshaw, but I haven't seen them in the stores recently either. I have a strong suspicion that if I could find casabas I wouldn't go mad until at least October.
Since I napped soon after eating I now feel somewhat stuffed, so I don't know if I should try eating anything again or not. It's cooled off to merely balmy outdoors, and the crickets are chirping, and the freeway is fairly quiet, so I might just go sit outside for a while. We are looking at six straight days of triple-digit highs starting Friday. I'm not going to enjoy it. In fact I'm apt to get very unhappy indeed.
So I didn't get around to posting an entry about Tuesday yet. It was a strange day. I didn't wake up until well after noon again, and then in the evening decided to attempt a run to Grocery Outlet after mailing two items. There is a bus bench near the mailbox, so I was able to rest for a while before going on in the heat. Hardly anybody is using the buses now, so I had the bench to myself, and it had a little bit of shade.
Wearing masks in stores is mandatory now so I felt a bit better about going to Grocery Outlet, where the last time I was in not even the staff were masked. I still saw two local Oklafornian guys without masks going in though. I can't blame people for not liking the masks. I don't like them myself, but they really are necessary. I find that breathing my own carbon monoxide is unpleasant, and it aggravates the exhaustion I already feel from exerting myself on a hot day.
Also I only used a hand basket instead of the wheeled cart which I usually use at the bigger stores where I buy more stuff, so I had nothing to lean on. I don't think I'll do that again. But at east I got my donuts, and also picked up a few other things including a bottle of orange juice and a bottle of tea that were both on sale. I also got a loaf of sourdough bread, a mango, and two things called Del Monte Vegefull Veggie Bowls. I've never seen them before, but they were marked down enough to justify giving them a try. Sadly there were no ramen bowls in stock again, nor any tamales, nor any of the frozen items I like to pick up for nights when I just don't want to cook but don't just want ramen either.
The walk home was even more exhausting than the walk over there, but I did get barked at by the dogs who live in the yards I used to pass by so frequently. I've missed seeing those angry little dogs (and one angry big dog) since I've been staying in. As always, they broke the monotony of that unpleasant stretch of that walk for me. By the time I got home I was quite exhausted, so I soon decided I'd take a nap. I woke up around midnight, and then to my surprise went back to sleep again, so I didn't even eat any dinner that night. Even more surprising, I didn't finally get up until half past seven this morning.
As I was awake so early I considered going to CVS, where I had a couple of good coupon deals expiring today, but somehow never gathered enough energy to do so, and then it turned much too hot, and this afternoon I was just too tired again. I guess I'll just forget about CVS for now, but I'll need to make a run to Trader Joe's soon/ I'm almost out of chocolate. But I'm not looking forward to going out into that sultry viral stew. At least Trader Joe's isn't quite as far away as Grocery Outlet.
Now I'm going to make something for dinner, which will include one of those veggie bowls. I'm hoping I don't like them too much, as I'm not eager to return to that store, and if they are very good I'll really want to get more of them. It will be a dilemma. I don't like dilemmas.
So what was Monday like? I didn't really notice. I woke up way too early but refused to get up, so spent upward of an hour lying in bed mulling what seemed like profound thoughts but which, if I could now remember them, were probably doltish maunderings. I finally got back to sleep, then had a couple of shorter waking periods later and finally became fully awake— or as near fully awake as I ever get anymore— about half past two in the afternoon. That late a rising pretty much ended any possibility that I would go out into the heat of the afternoon to fetch anything as unimportant (however desirable they may be) as donuts.
At some point soon I'll really need to get my lazy, paranoid ass out onto the diseased and sultry streets, though, as it's getting to be that time of month when I must mail my rent check. Certainly I could just take the envelope down to the end of the driveway and put it in my inadequate mailbox for the mail carrier to pick up, but putting something in that box provokes even more anxiety than going over to the big mailbox by the plaza does. I've become domestic mailbox phobic. Someone should write a song about that, so I could convince myself that it was an actual thing in the world and not just my personal eccentricity, and I could thus feel a bit less severely deranged about the whole weird thing.
I did remember to put the wheelie bin out tonight, so the week's accumulated non-recyclable trash can be hauled off in the morning and trouble me no more, except of course when I think about the landfill it's going into. The thought of all that trash sitting under the ground creeps me out sometimes. Not that I generated very much of that trash myself. I have the very smallest wheelie bin the refuse company provides, and seldom get it more than a third full. Compacted, my weekly non-recyclable trash accumulation is probably not much larger than a shoe box. The other tenants sometimes have so much that their own bins are inadequate, and I'll find a big plastic bag or two of their trash stuffed into my bin. For an American who eats a lot of packaged goods I generate surprisingly little trash. But still. I think about that stuff in that landfill and feel a bit revolted.
Anyway. The night air is now pleasant enough, and the yard smells much batter than it did in the afternoon when a breeze from the west was bringing copious diesel fumes from the many trucks traveling the busy freeway. Now only an occasional car passes, and the diminished foulness is noticeable. It would be nice if it could be this clean all the time, but alas, that freeway isn't going to go away. I wonder if Paradise still smells of domestic wreckage and charred trees? It used to smell of jasmine this time of year.
It having been a Sunday I didn't even go down the driveway to check the mailbox. I definitely didn't go to Grocery Outlet and replenish my donut supply. The farthest I got from the apartment was just outside the back door, in the small part of the backyard that hasn't been taken over by enormous plants. I don't know what the deal is with those plants this year, but they are everywhere and they are huge. I can't identify them either. I suspect them of being an alien species, part of a plot to take over the Earth by some race of lizard people. I'm even starting to wonder if Taylor is part of the plot.
But then I haven't noticed plants taking over any other spots around here. And Chico seems an odd place to begin an invasion of the planet. Why not invade some place that's actually important first? Or at least some place with better weather? But then what do I know? I'm getting stupider all the time. Maybe the aliens like hot weather and obscure places that humans wouldn't expect them to be interested in. Maybe the tenants of the other apartments are all aliens in disguise, and they are just waiting for their giant plants to strangle me so they can have this apartment too. That would explain a lot. Well, no, it wouldn't really explain anything. But it could. Or not.
More days with highs in the nineties are coming this week, and then next weekend they will go up into triple digits again. My goal is to be insane and get committed to an institution with air conditioning and cable by the end of July. I will go running through the streets of Chico shouting "The aliens are here! Look a the size of their plants!" I wonder if anybody will notice?
Brain totally not working tonight. Friday was a complete loss, and I've already forgotten almost all of it. One thing that sticks in my mind is from when I woke up, and the dog who lives on the other side of the bike trail was barking. Still half asleep, I was displaced in both time and place, and thought it was the dog who once lived in the house at the end of my block in Paradise, across from the old orchard.
For a moment I thought it was twenty years ago, and that I would open my eyes and see the familiar room full of familiar things, and that in an hour or two I would be going for a walk over to the shady street along the last ridge before the canyon. But then I did open my eyes, and saw this place, and realized which dog was barking, and that the world I remembered was utterly gone. I don't think I'll ever get entirely used to that idea.