The Flying Broomstick

Like most California natives turned New Yorkers and replanted as Californians, I have always enjoyed complaining about the weather. Los Angeles in October experienced an unprecedented heat wave. In the grand tradition of L.A. earthiness, nowhere had air conditioning. The whole town felt like Satan’s butthole. A most uncomfortable place to experience this phenomenon was a mausoleum, where we were saying, adios to abuelita.

My sassy abuelita, Juanita had died peacefully at ninety-two. She was a spitfire, and her burial had a fiery theme, without air conditioning. (The whole masouleun was stifling and one could easily experience heat exhaustion.) In a less than charming way, I sat through the service, schvitizing to death. I flashbacked to happier times shoveling snow and falling face first in snow banks. Unfortunately, I was still melting away like a Wicked Witch, if only I had a flying broomstick to whisk me away to an actual cold climate.

In the grand tradition of Latino family funerals, everyone stood around until grandma’s coffin was in the wall, macabre much? Afterwards I happily removed my cardigan, but still couldn’t get any relief from the heat. The burial ended. We drove to abuelita’s house. The best part of a Latino wake, taco trucks and booze. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any cool spots to relieve myself from the heat. I just sat there, melting. I just continued to melt. Nobody wanted to hug me. Everyone was just as miserable.

Dios mio!

The wine flowed. Wintry New York daydreams danced around my head. Eating tacos distracted me from the misery. The sun went down. Family left. An abundance of wine had just been cooling off. I stuffed the remaining bottles of wine and Coronas in my Strand tote bag/murse. It was a prize from abuelita above for enduring a heat wave for a love one.

Daddy and I returned to Riverside. Our house was barren, no booze. Grinning from cheek to cheek. I took out the bottles of white wine and beer. He was most grateful. We ordered a pizza. I also became increasingly grateful to live in Riverside, where we have air-conditioning.

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