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The Bug, the Dog, the ‘Hood, the Weather

Slow day here in Lovely Uptown Phoenix. Three days’ worth of predicted rain are settling in, starting with a little thunderstorm that delivered enough rumbling to make it sound like Sky Harbor must have rerouted its jet approach or landing paths to send jets directly over our heads.

The Bug: By midmorning I imagined maybe I was feeling a little better, despite having awakened at 2 a.m. and not managed to get back to sleep till around 5. This provided a feel-better window in which to race out and buy some groceries, after which the window slammed shut. Miserable, coughing, gasping for air, too exhausted to move: again!

Read on Facebook: A favorite friend reports on her experience of the present contagion, saying much the same: that she thought the miasma was starting to lift, but ooohh, no! It set right back in after two or three hours. Then eight of her friends chimed in, saying much the same.

Welp…misery loves company. I guess.

I see by the abysmal quality of the most recent few posts here that…yeah: apparently I’ve been so out of it I can’t compose a rational series of thoughts. The past two or three days of ramblings are…just that. Incoherent ramblings. I probably ought to delete them but don’t have the energy to fiddle with technocrap.

No doubt this post will be no more rational, its author still being radically sick. Two hot steamers have turned the bedroom into a kind of sticky sauna, which (I suppose) sort of helps a little. But I still feel like I can’t get enough air in. Still have an overwhelming urge to yawn but still can’t force the “yawn” reflex to kick in, the result being I feel like I’m suffocating.

The Dog: Ruby is so absurdly cute it’s next to impossible to go far in her company without being stopped by one or more of her admirers. Today we did manage to get around our one-mile circuit, despite the human’s infirmity. And also today she attracted the attention of a neighbor as he cruised by in his car, thereby causing him to recognize me as the person who remarked, on the neighborhood Facebook page, that I would be willing to help out with his proposed project of a neighborhood history.

So of course he had to pull over and chat. Ruby had to love him into submission and, by the way, do the same to other passers-by and, while at it, threaten to annihilate another neighbor’s German shepherd. (What is it with corgis, anyway?)

This guy has lived in the ‘Hood upwards of 30 years, and, unlike Yrs Truly, has a gregarious personality. Thus he knows everybody in sight, can remember their names and all the details of their personal lives, and knows the history of quite a few of the local houses just about as well. So that was a hoot.

He proposes that we should collaborate on this budding history of The ‘Hood. That, I think, would be OK by me. Truth to tell, I need something new to do with myself and my time. Local history is always fun to research and to write about. And…since this place is now becoming so hot with the young folks that it’s getting difficult to buy a house here (which would explain the eye-popping price inflation), a few interviews and a couple hours in the State Archives would give me a chance to pitch a story to Arizona Highways or Phoenix Ragazine. This, of course, would help to sell the proposed book. Also, if I could get back into Highways, a full-length feature would generate a respectable fee. And…who knows? Maybe I could get back into freelancing.

Yesterday, speaking of the ‘Hood, it entered my hot little head to wonder what proportion of houses here in our garden spot are battened down with steel security doors. So as Ruby and I were strolling around, I took to counting the total number of houses we passed and, of those, the number that had security doors. We’d left the house just as rush hour was overwhelming the feeder streets, and so couldn’t get across Feeder Street NW to get into the Richistans’ sylvan groves. So, we were confined to the low-rent blocks, where we live. As we walked past the fix-and-flip that the gullible old guy was roped into buying for around 60 grand too much, it occurred to me to wonder: wouldn’t you, if you were a prospective buyer and you looked around, take a clue by spotting iron bars on about every second house in the environs?

But…are there iron bars on every second house or so?

Well, yes: as we perambulated about our part of the’ Hood, I started counting. Of the 42 houses we passed, 34 had intruder-blocking steel gates secured over the front doors. That’s 80 percent of the houses. Eighty percent of residents who are so scared they hide behind iron bars.

Huh. Imagine that…

Well. It gets a bit more interesting.

This morning we managed to get out before the real surge of traffic made Feeder Street NW impassible. Et voilá! There we were in Lower Richistan. Sooo… This morning I assayed to calculate the proportion of door barricades over there. And lo! We passed 32 houses (the lots over there are much larger than ours), of which eight were locked down behind forbidding steel doors. That’s only 25 percent!

In Upper Richistan, none of the houses had security doors. Nary a one.

There’s a phenomenon, eh? I wonder what accounts for it?

Could be a social-class thing. Middle- to lower-middle-class folk may not regard steel bars on the front door as a blot on the family escutcheon.

Or…it could be that the further away you are from Conduit of Blight Blvd., the safer you feel. But…??????  They’re NOT significantly further from CofB. The walk from my house to the western edge of Lower Richistan is one (1) block long. Lower Richistan itself is about a block and a half, two blocks wide — which would put us all of three blocks from Upper Richistan.

My guess is, it’s social. People of good breeding do not install prison doors on the fronts of their homes.

As we scribble, it’s pouring outside. We’re supposed to get about three days of weather, starting this evening.

And that is not such a good thing right this instant, because Ruby just insisted on being fed. How exactly we’re going to get her wrung out in that stuff escapes me. I’m going to have to go outside with her. Yes. And stand out there and wait for her to do her thing. Coughing, shivering, and gasping for breath.

Human: Rooobeee! C’mon! Outside!

Dog: Eh?

Human: Come ON! Hurry-up outside.

Dog: (eyeballs human): You’re sicker than you look, aren’t you…

{sigh} That didn’t work. No point in putting away the jacket and the clodhoppers, I s’ppose…

2 thoughts on “The Bug, the Dog, the ‘Hood, the Weather”

  1. You may think they’ve been incoherent ramblings but at least they showed us that you were at least semi-functioning.

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