Seven o'clock in the Ante Meridiem, as the Latin goes, and The Van Man roasted in his van. It was most definitely a hot one. Maybe the hottest of the year. He rolled up his sheet and began the day. Coffee then a drive to the library to nab his shaded spot for a few precious morning hours.
The shade was known as a commodity in the world of vehicular living. Especially in the San Fernando Valley, where Summer was Bummer and midnight in August was always around eighty-five degrees. To say the Valley got hot was to say Elvis was famous. Van Man arrived and the spot was his. He parked and sat in the back to enjoy the coffee.
An hour passed and Van Man decided to roll down the windows and, as he did, he noticed a Sedan parked a few spaces over. Van Man knew it. Sometimes the Sedan parked in the shaded space. It was driven by a black man who seemed new to the lot. A small rivalry had begun between them, whether Black Sedan Man knew it or not.
From outside the lot, a White Couple walked toward the Black Sedan Man. The White Wife approached the Black Man on the driver's side. The White Husband held up a cell phone and recorded the event. What seemed as a civil exchange between White Wife and Black Man took place. Van Man did not hear the words, but he understood the meaning. Then Van Man heard one phrase clearly. "I'm sorry", said Black Sedan Man and he cranked his engine and drove away. The White Couple seemed satisfied in themselves. The White Husband put away his cell phone and they walked from whence they came.
Why did they do that?, Van Man thought to himself. He looked at the lot's parking sign. NO PARKING 11PM - 6AM, read the sign. It was nine-thirty in the morning and there were five other vehicles in the lot. The Van Man was pissed. That was not a good way to start the great hot day. And he was no longer a rival with Black Sedan Man. They were allies.
The morning turned into early afternoon and Van Man was out in the Valley streets again. He looked for shade. One o'clock and it was one-hundred and five degrees. He was shirtless and knew he should just get naked. It was that fucking hot. Being a swinging dick while he drove sounded perfect, but it was not the Seventies. At a stoplight, he stared at the Young Man with the Homeless sign. That was someone who could not depend on shade. That was a person that could only make some scratch where the gettin' was good. And that was usually at unshaded off-ramps.
Four o'clock and Van Man found himself parked under shade somewhere in a nice Studio City neighborhood. It was one-hundred out under The Sun. Too damn hot to do any damn thing. Most of the houses in the neighborhood definitely had pools. A scream rang out in pain and a voice yelled from somewhere in the heat, "It's fucking hot!" Van Man agreed with the random cry of injustice. It was fucking hot. The Van Man drove away calmed. Everyone was equally a victim to The Sun.