The first after-school text I get today is slightly more hopeful than yesterday's.
"Hey!" It exclaims with a happy vibration. "Would you like some lemonade (if I have enough money)?"
It is the hand of God that has created a stop for the school bus right next to her favorite restaurant, Lemonade, on Beverly Boulevard. But all I care about is her happiness.
Yesterday I found her flung across her bed diagonally, face down, answering my concerned questions in fake up-beat monosyllables. When Bean and I went into investigate (Bean goes in for the kill, licking eyes, nose, ears, mouth fervently) we found a red, tear-stained face, forcing a smile. No, day one of new High School was not a huge success.
N is bringing her home from the bus. He won't say this, but he worries about her well-being too, as only a big brother can (while telling her at the same time what a dumbass she is).
Meanwhile the fires have brought with them strange weather (not helped by the hurricane off the coast of Baja California), odd-looking clouds, and air that gets stuck at the back of your throat when you breath it in. Everyone has a sore throat & is spraying Ocean saltwater up their noses in the hope that we can trick our bodies into believing they're encased in cool North Atlantic seawater, the grayling frolicking around us. We're all fragile and crisp as rice paper and I fear if a bucket of water were poured over me now I might melt. Mrs L talks about her desire to smoke when the air is so polluted & although I understand that, my illicit cigarettes at 8 o'clock at night are no longer. My lungs just can't take it.
One cannot imagine the state the brave firefighters are in with their 12 hour shifts in this sweltering weather. We owe them so much.
If Southern California were a patient, he would need a full blood transfusion. Nice thick, fresh red stuff, lots of it. As it is, we can only hope for rain. Or a miracle.