I love when it gets hot in L.A., 100 degrees hot, and the AC conks out for those on the 405, and Jesus Gonzalez climbs from his stalled Toyota truck, sweaty and wet, but happy because his radio still works, and his favorite song blasts on Latino 96.3, and the sisters Johnson — Francee and Frenchie from Compton, CA — exit their Hyundai and dance on the hood, stripped to their bras, and the Goodyear Blimp flies overhead, barely seen because the rising heat fogs up the sky like a steam room.
“Pump it up, Jesus,” I yell from above.
I am the pilot of the Goodyear Blimp. I came to L.A. in ’87 from Phoenix, after my bitter divorce. “Louder!” I cry, only knowing the song because it is a favorite of Rhonda, the fortyish woman I met at Winchell’s Donuts a few days ago, the woman I left in bed this morning with her nipples still hard, the one I thought about all morning while eating my Egg McMuffin, while reading about the Dodgers, while driving to my job in which I fly the Goodyear Blimp high in the air, over the oven of a city, over the traffic of the 405, over the music blasting from the Toyota truck of Jesus, over the sisters Johnson, dancing in their bras, and while I listen to the beat and the Spanish lyrics that I cannot understand, I swear I can feel Rhonda’s heat still on my fingers.