Alberto was in high spirits this morning, smoothing the front of his yellow guayabera with gnarled hands. His pension is due tomorrow (a couple days early since the 3rd will fall on a Sunday), which means he'll have lotto money and can stop praying that his numbers don't come up while he's broke. But even more importantly, the weather girls on the TV were calling for record setting heat. The man blooms like a tropical plant in the heat, especially record-setting heat.
I don't. I wilt like a thirsty jewel-weed. And I made hard work of wandering around the concrete sink of Los Angeles. It was 92 degrees and I was realizing that I needed at least a half dozen interpreters to make headway downtown (Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Japanese . . . .) About 3 o'clock it occurred to me that if I didn't get out I'd be trapped by rush hour and surely die. So I rode the 110 up to Pasadena, where there were trees to survive under - and where enough people were willing to speak to me in English about the sorry state of the nation.