It’s raining here this morning. Okay I know it’s October, but you have to understand that Californians have a pathological fear of getting wet unless we’re at the ocean or in the pool. We have mudslides and flooding, but you will rarely hear that from us. We’re in denial.
I was in Wholefoods at seven o’clock, carefully negotiating my way around the hazard signs that were already causing a hazard. California is a litigious part of the planet and as a result we’re pan-phobic. If you stopped to read all the warning signs on food labels you would never eat again. And frankly if I were a pregnant woman I would stay indoors with my air filtration system and humidifier drinking filtered water. Life was so much simpler when all you had to do was stop drinking and smoking on the way to the maternity ward.
Everyone was very cheery. An assistant kept popping up from behind the vegetable stands.
‘Hi. How are YOU?’ (at the potatoes.) ‘Good. How are you?’
‘Hi. How are YOU? (at the leeks.) ‘Good. How are you?’
‘Hi. How are YOU?’ (at the carrots.) ‘Good thanks… I think we’ve been here before.’
It was getting surreal. We were all very chatty. We needed to talk, probably to reassure ourselves we were still in LA. In one aisle I met a man with a jar in his hand. He was clearly confused and disoriented. I assured him I like peanuts and butter in my ‘peanut butter’ too and that he was looking at the vegan option.
A law student told me about her course at UCLA. We chose tomatoes together. Then I had a hot breakfast of steaming coffee, French toast and burrito after checking my iPhone and seeing that it had gone down to 62 degrees out there.
After that a cashier offered to help me to my car even though the parking lot is under cover. I accepted. We loaded up the trunk and commiserated over our hair. I aqua-glided home trying to remember how the windshield wipers worked and wondering if I should light the fire and stay home the rest of the day.
When it rains everyone is late for everything. We blame an apocryphal pile up on the freeway in the certain knowledge there will have been one. It is rare to see an umbrella or rain boots. To invest the time or energy in protective outerwear would be to acknowledge that there are days when the sun doesn’t shine.