Yesterday morning, I woke up just before my alarm. Once my Aunt Mary asked me, “Some mornings when you wake up, are you glad you’re still alive, cause you slept so hard you can’t believe you weren’t dead?”
I used to have no idea what she was talking about. Marvin had restless legs and I feel like I didn’t sleep well for about 16 years. Then I was very busy obsessing over Ned. It’s only been in the last six months or so that I wake up like, yeah, I slept, man. I slept hard. I might have died for awhile there, even.
That’s how I felt when I woke up yesterday, and then I noticed everyone was in the bed with me. Edsel with his snout on my shoulder, Steely Dan sidled up solidly on the other side, Iris splayed across me, and Lily–in an uncharacteristic streak of independence–lounging at the foot of the bed.
“You all ready to get up?” I asked, as I snapped off the alarm the moment it rang.
“Ready to get up” is a big phrase at my house. It means breakfast is imminent.
I got right in the shower, though, so breakfast was, you know, imminent-ish. I’d walked Edsel for such a long time the night before, and it had been approximately 496 degrees out. But we’d been chatting with neighbors and listening to the cicadas and admiring the bats and not even noticing how how disgustingly hot we’d both gotten, and the point is my hair was 11 feet wide and when you’re a wide-hair person, the only thing you can do it get in the shower and start over with that bullshit.
When I got out of the bathroom, I noticed poor Steely Dan standing where the hallway phone desk used to be. His whole cat life, that desk has been there, and he enjoys sitting on it while I shower. I moved it to the guest bedroom, though, as a makeshift nightstand. So instead of standing on the desk, he stood in the corner, like Jack Horner or something.
This may be the only time I’ve ever felt sorry for Steely Dan.
When I got to work, I did some really cool stuff for another team, and at 10:30 I left for my midmorning walk. I try to walk in the park right next to work both in the morning and in the afternoon, so that once I’ve walked Edsel I will have walked more than an hour each day, but usually I get too busy and miss the morning walk.
But yesterday I was able to, and when I got outside it was already ludicrous out. “I came out here to get warm,” my coworker Neil, who is clearly a lizard, said. He was sitting at one of the concrete tables near the door. “I’m gonna go burn calories,” I announced to him, because it’s important I announce everything. I get this from my Aunt Kathy, who needs to tell you everything. “I’m gonna go in and get a Kleenex.”
Because it was so hot, I opted to just walk around the buildings twice rather than go to the park, so that if I felt the vapors or anything I could go right back inside. I’d made my way around once and was headed back to Site of Reptilian Neil, when I saw a black leather lounge chair next to a white van.
I am not making that up. If you haven’t seen Silence of the Lambs, I want nothing to do with you right now. Because this is Silence of the Lambs fan GOLD, right here.
I braced myself for Buffalo Bill to appear in a fake cast, and, let’s face it, I’m careening over to skin-suit size, so I’d be perfect for helping him load that chair into that van. I was obsessed with the van and the chair when
I heard a weird noise, and there, in the grass near the van, the “Is-she-a-big-fat-person” van?
Was a fawn!
A baby fawn! When I was little, my father used to reprimand me for saying an animal was a baby something, then using its baby term. A baby calf. A baby kitten. A baby pony.
Guess what I still do. I was also forbidden from kissing the TV when animals came on, and that didn’t stick, either.
My point is, I was 10 feet from a baby fawn, with her baby fawn spotses, and her baby fawn earses, and her baby fawn little face that I wanted to kiss up even though she wasn’t on TV.
“Hrrrrrr!” I heard, and there was mom, Mom of Baby Fawn, with guess what. ANOTHER BABY FAWN.
It was right around then that I put my hands on my face like that gay guy on Saturday Night Live
and stood frozen because I didn’t want to startle poor Fawn Hall, who I’d already named and brought home and raised with a bottle IN MY MIND. And I didn’t want to make her mom mad, because I similarly loved her and had brought her to sleep in my bed IN MY MIND, which was very full of the activity, the deer activity.
Then I remembered.
“Neil!” I whisper screamed. As soon as I did that, the deer ran off, the way deer do, with their ears flicking. I turned around, and Neil had seen the whole thing.
I know most people, most regular people, would be like, Oh, I saw some deer, but I was shaky and teary-eyed and went inside and would have gotten on the PA if they’d let me.
“Oh, you did not see a fawn,” said my boss. “Are you taking mushrooms again?”
All day long, it was a THING to tell me I didn’t see ANY deer, and I kept saying, “ASK NEIL,” and of course we could never FIND Neil, and finally at the end of the day, my boss said, “Hey, June, I see the deer out the window!” and instead it was a just woman crossing the parking lot. “No, that’s a deer! Like you saw!”
Everyone’s a comedian. And when we finally found Neil, he said, “I think maybe we saw spotted dogs.”
I am officially over my coworkers.
Finally, it was 5:00, and I got home to Alf, who was painting my steps, and he helped me put together my vanity, and I know it seems hard to believe my vanity isn’t 100% in tact. After he left, I had an extremely perfect nectarine, and sat on my deck listening to the cicadas.
Finally, it was time to go to bed, and we all got into our positions: Edsel on my shoulder, SD sidled up, Iris on top of me and Lily smooshing where she could, because let’s face it, that independence thing was a fluke.
Don’t worry. I have a very lovely life.