Nov. 1981. Dear diary: You know, I've got a lot more going for me than many other people. I'm very smart, I'm NOT ugly, I'm not shy, I'm not a social outcast, I'm not fat, I've got nice hands, a pretty class ring, a nice house, expensive stereo, leniant rules, straight teeth, thick hair, and a good voice.
The other day, a friend of mine told an absolutely hilarious story about his mother, and then as soon as I was done drying my tears of mirth, he was all, “You can’t tell that on your blog.”
If you ever wanna bug me, go ahead and tell me something fekking hilarious that I can’t use for material. No, go ahead.
But it lead me to today’s inspiration: It’s Tell Your Family Stories day.
I’m fairly certain we’ve done this before, because we’re coming up on the 11-year anniversary of my first blog post, so we’ve done everything before.
I’m not sure if it was tell family stories day or what the deal was when one of you told me my favorite story, though. Is this person still out there? The faithful reader, her mom and her sisters were all at the hospital. I think the faithful reader’s dad was ill.
The priest took the women in the family into the hallway of the hospital to pray, and they all knelt down, and why the hallway I do not know. The point is, once they all stood back up, mom may have had an issue. An issue with the gas.
And it wasn’t a silent issue, either.
In desperation, poor mom began twisting her patent-leather shoe this way and that, in the hopes they’d squeak.
“These darn shoes,” she said.
Oh my god, I love that story. That faithful reader’s probably gonna write in and say I can’t tell that story like my annoying friend. TOO LATE.
Anyway, what are yours?
I think I’ve told you before (see above. Eleven fucking years.) about my Aunt Kathy having an Important Phone Call with an Important Person. I think this was back in the days when she was very angry about a nuclear power plant, and it may have been a reporter or an attorney or some fancy figure like that.
Anyway, they were wrapping it up, which by the way is not Aunt Kathy’s strong suit, and she wanted to finish by acknowledging that they’d meet at 3 o’clock and then she’d say goodbye. A crisp, professional goodbye.
“Good o’clock,” said my Aunt Kathy.
I have another aunt who greeted someone fancy (maybe even a priest) with, “How do.”
So there it is. Thank heavens I am a paragon of dignity and nothing humiliating has ever happened to me. (If one person mentions that maxi pad in my back, I’m come snap your neck.)
As I was watching photos upload to my molasses-slow desktop, I realized I took enough pictures yesterday to pretty much tell the whole story of September 27, 2017. A day where nothing much really happened. Riveting, June. We’re compelled.
For the seven minutes he was home yesterday, Steely Dan took time to let me know what he thinks of my coffee. As if he hasn’t made that clear 86 other times. This was pretty much 24 hours ago! And look, you can see yesterday’s blog-not-blog post being written!
I went to work in the morning, as I am wont to do, and when I came home for lunch (Weight Watchers fettuccini alfredo, a stick of low-fat cheese. WOOOO!), Iris sat on my lap while I read. (There’s one of those take one/leave one book boxes in the park in my neighborhood, so when Edsel and I go on our walks, sometimes I’ll, you know, take or leave a book. This is an Anne Rivers Siddons or whatever her name is book. It’s okay. I don’t have the thing where all I want to do is read it. I love having that thing.)
Edsel was not feeling his best when I was home for lunch. I walked in to Heyyyy, here be ebrytheeng Edz eat lately, revisit!
I bought some pet stain remover not long ago, but then gave it to The Poet because of HER dogs, so I had to use old-school vinegar and water, but I think I got all evidence removed. Poor pathetic Eds. You know things are bad when he lies right on the floor like that. He’s generally more…fussy.
One of the Alexes at work is growing her hair. She’s had it short like this for years, and announced yesterday she’s giving growing it out a try. “Oooo, can I document it for my not blog?” I asked her, and guess who’s sick of me. Is it everyone at work?
“Sure,” she said, hint of beleaguered in her tone.
Another Alex is getting married this weekend, to a guy who also works at work. They didn’t meet at work–they just ended up working at the same place. Anyway, yesterday was their last day till they get married, so we threw them a little surprise, and I like how I say “we” like I had anything to do with it.
In keeping with my tradition, I did show up and try to take credit for every nuance of said celebration.
“I made this champagne,” I said.
No one at work likes me. That was always funny till Happy Hourgate, and now we’re all, Wow, really no one DOES like June.
It was a fun way to end the day, and I proposed we have champagne and Frank Sinatra EVERY day at 4:55.
Because look at the mirth.
When I got home, I had dinner (Weight Watchers turkey. MMMMMM!) and was just settling down with a bad movie, when Ned called. “I just had dinner with my dad and brother at the restaurant near you. Do you mind if I come by?”
That restaurant delivers, I’d like to add. AND IT IS DELICIOUS.
Also, weight loss plateau right now. Which has zero to do with the pizza and also Mrs. Freshley’s Vanilla Cakes.
Edsel was feeling distinctly better, and was so beside himself at Ned being over that I told him he could jump up on the couch.
You didn’t have to ask HIM twice.
Ned doesn’t have his eyes closed; he’s petting Iris, who is also on the couch. No one likes coming to my house of animals.
So that about sums it up. Ned left and I went to bed and now I’m here, in the cowboy robe, that I see SD has further chewed. I also noted last night that Steely Dan has chewed the corner off one of my new pillows I got for the couch.
Now here I am the next day, and WHO KNOWS what adventures await. Will Alex’s hair be Rapunzel today? Will someone else serve champagne? Will Steely Dan sit on my lap and make biscuits? Are biscuits a lot of WW points?
I’ve turned my not-blog boring before by mentioning this,* but again, you do NOT have to add an email address to leave a comment. I set up the commenting to be as easy as possible, and just because it SAYS “email” in one of the lines, it is not required that you put one in.
And see? That is how we should be in life. Question authority.
*I like how I act like otherwise, this thing is riveting.
Yesterday after breakfast, Steely Dan stomped out, the way he does, into the yard and beyond. When I got home for lunch, he was nowhere to be seen. If Lily and Iris go outside, by lunch they’re delighted to see me, as they’ve been lounging in the back yard, or hiding under Peg’s magnolia, or…well, no, that’s about it. That’s all they do.
But not Steely Dan.
I can always go outside and spot my other cats.
After work yesterday, I had to get my hair done at 5:15, so I didn’t have a chance to go home.
I forgot to take an after. Hey, it was late. Roots are done, okay? That’s it.
I like where I get my hair done–it’s an old mill, like everything is here, because we used to be cotton here. We were the touch, the feel, of cotton. The fabric of our lives. And then, just like in Michigan where I grew up, someone got greedy or something, and all those jobs dried up and now mills are all other things. The point is, it’s pretty where I get my hair done, and I drive from an old mill where I work to an old mill to get m’hairs done, and then to my regular house where I mill about.
When I got home at 7:30, Edsel was champing at the bit for dinner, as it was two hours late. Of course he didn’t have to go outside, because he never goes outside. The only way that dog goes outside is if we’re on a walk or if I open the back door and walk outside with him. Then he gleefully pees on his pee tree, and hangs his head in shame to go off to the bushes to do the…other thing that he does not like me to see. It’s part of his breed. His weird, weird breed. They poop very secretively. HE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A SHEPHERD MIX. That’s going on his tombstone.
Oh my god, anyway.
When I got home and took care of Edsel, I was annoyed that Steely Dan had not deigned to come home FOR 12 HOURS. I called and called, and finally I heard a pound on the back door. He likes to let himself in and out via the screen door, but when it’s shut, he stands back there and opens the screen over and over, so it bangs, which makes me think of Ned saying, “I’d like to bang her like a screen door in a thunderstorm,” which was a good line even though I wished to punch him clean in the mouth every time he announced to me anyone else he wanted to bang.
Anyway, there he was, Steely Dan, I mean, no worse for the wear, having done god knows what with god knows whom. He ate his disgusting canned food (careful readers will note that I mentioned on Facebook that he would not eat his new food, and pardon me boy, is that the cat who eschews his new food.
I was waiting him out and leaving the old stuff in his bowl and not giving him new food, like Joan Crawford, till he got hungry enough to eat it. He never did. That food sat there drying and untouched. I caved and Edsel gladly ate that can of old dry cat food).
and then before I could even NOTICE, before 10 minutes had PASSED,
Screen door in a thunderstorm. He left the house again.
“Steely DAN,” I fishwifed after him, as he sauntered off into the night.
I tried to call him before I went to bed, but he wouldn’t answer my texts.
This morning when I got up, all my regularly scheduled pets were happy to see me. When I open the door of my room, they’re all splayed out hopefully on the hall rug, and one day I should try to remember to take my camera to bed with me. Which sounds dirty. But I mean so that in the morning I can remember to photograph them all splayed in the hall, waiting.
You know what I’ll never remember to do?
I fed no-fuss Lily and no-trouble Iris, then got Edsel’s litany of pills ready and fed him his eleven thousand dollar grain-free food that isn’t helping his raw, red skin and itches and smellyness, and went to the back door.
“Kittykittykittykittykitty! SteeeeeeleeeeDAN! SteeeeeeeeleeDAN! Come on, honey.”
So while I was writing you about not having to add an email to leave a comment, I heard some crunching.
I didn’t even hear him come IN, and that’s how he operates. He’s stealthy. He opened that door without a peep and came in. And you KNOW he’s hungry when he deigns to eat the girl cats’ dry food. I should have left that disgusting pile of ancient canned for him. He’d have eaten it, you know, by day 14 or something.
The thing is,
Now he’s got me right where he wants me. Because those rare moments when he’s home, I’m so goddamn happy to see him that he can get away with anything. Can? Even though mealtime is over? Sure. You want to chew my wedding dress? Let me get it out of the wrapping.
So now I’ve got myself a love avoidant cat. I mean, all cats are love avoidant, except Lily, who has some sort of pet-me disorder. But the more he avoids coming home and sitting on me, the more desperately I wish for him to be home and sitting on me. The more indifferent he is, the more I love him.
HE IS EVERY MAN I’VE EVER DATED. That photo up there could be my homecoming picture, my prom photo, my wedding snaps, every photo I ever took of Ned and me.
(Actually, I think Marvin was a secure attacher. He was not love avoidant. AND LOOK HOW THAT WENT.)
I just looked around, and I see that he’s left again, stealthily. I walked into the yard, despondent, and all that’s back there is Lily, who looked at me like, “Oooo, you thinking to pet Lilleeee?”
And because she’s too available, I turned my back on her and slammed the door.
I don’t mean a mosquito, or a pesky fly. I mean there was a huge, black, antenna’d, angrily protesting bug in my room whose sole purpose was to terrify me. If I were to make an educated guess, I’d estimate he was about 16 feet long.
I first saw him last week, when I entered the room to put clothes away. I keep the door shut to my bedroom, because Steely Dan eats clothes,
and there’s a giant walk-in closet in my bedroom, a walk-in closet the beige-loving person who owned this house before me added. Despite the 10 years it’s taken to eradicate the brass-n-beige extravaganza in which she left this house, I could kiss her flush on the mouth for that yeah-you’re-charming-with-your-1950s-touches-but-fuck-this-postage-stamp expansion of the closet.
Anyway, to me it’s a convenient walk-in closet. To Steely Dan it’s a smorgasbord. So, door shut. At all times.
The normal cats used to love to go in there and sleep under the clothes, on top of the suitcases, so they were completely hidden. There’re also shelves of linens, perfect for curling into a furry circle and purring. And it’s the warmest room in the house, as she added a heat vent, the Beige-Lover did, for that small-ish space.
But all that’s done now. Because at first I’d see SD in there and think, How cute. He loves the closet too. And then every item I pulled from there was Flashdance.
So the room was dark when I opened the door a few days ago to put clothes away, a day that was as tragic as the clothes-putting-away scene in La Bamba.
As I made my way to the closet, I thought I saw some…scurrying.
“ACK!” I screeched, and looked nervously but didn’t find anything. I hung the clothes in the closet, one eye cocked to the side, like a flounder. Looking out the side of my head for whatever scurried. Had it just been one of my many hallucinations? I certainly hoped so.
As I made my way to leave the bedroom, there he was. On the wall. It was like someone had mounted a black horned boat to my wall–you couldn’t miss him.
“ACK!” I screeched, and when giant bugs report back in their Giant Bug Newsletter, they must describe my house as R3sid3nc3 W!th ACK L@dy.
I started at it, horrified, my hand to my throat as if any second it could leap over at me with its bug shiv.
It waggled one antenna at me teasingly.
“ACK!” I screeched as I shut the door.
Look. I’ve lived alone now, excluding my year abroad, for five years. I’ve learned how to take off doorknobs and put new ones back on. I’ve learned minor dishwasher repair. I can snake a drain and pay all my bills. But I cannot deal with bugs. I cannot. If they’re on the floor, I am happy to drop a dictionary on them and then pounce on said dictionary several times and leave the book there for, oh, nine days.
I literally make the bugs eat my words.
But if it’s on a wall, no.
You can’t make me.
So, I did what any adult would do; I shut the door to the bedroom and slept sheetless, in the guest bed with Edsel. For four days. (Because the sheets are in the closet. Of the bug room.)
I also threw Iris in there, in the hopes she’d just murder it. It was my version of free extermination.
I had clean clothes in my dryer, so I lived off those for several days. Hey, who needs that bedroom, really?
The other night, I flicked on the bathroom light, and?
GODDAMMIT HE ESCAPED. HE ESCAAAAAAAPED. And I only have the one bathroom.
Could I move into the Y temporarily? Could I get a gun? I thought of Scarlett O’Hara. She did murder. She must have been almost as scared of that Yankee as I was that bug. Couldn’t I get myself together? Vomit a radish and gather up my strength?
Finally, it dawned on me. I could buy bug spray! It wouldn’t be pretty, but at least I could kill it from a distance, as Bette Midler would say.
As I was on my way to get bug spray later that afternoon, I saw it. Dead. In the living room. He’d given up the tentacled ghost on his own, and all I had to do was wait him out. I got up my nerve and the vacuum, and swept him up, ACK!-ing the entire time.
Tell us about your weekend. We await, riveted. Signed, No one.
We had our work picnic Thursday afternoon, which I realize is not Friday, and I just gave this section a “Friday” subhead and WHAT THE HELL with this blog. The point is, I’m this weird combination of an extroverted introvert, where I sort of dread having to be around people, then I get there and it’s OHMYGOD PEOPLE YAY! and I sort of dash about frenetically visiting this person and that, and then it’s time to go home and I’m drained.
All this to say that Thursday was a lot of socializing, and then Friday I had A Thing. My work sponsors this foundation, and said foundation was having a dinner and a speaker at the country club, and I had to get dressed up and dine at the country club and so forth, and if there’s anything you’re sick of, it’s my “June’s Tales of the Country Club” stories.
The man who spoke at our event had been Harvey Milk’s right-hand man, and he was there when Harvey Milk was killed. Then he watched all his friends die of AIDS. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to be a gay man in San Francisco in the ’80s. I mean, it’s close, given all the action I get. Still.
So that was kind of a sosh two days, and now that I’ve said “sosh” you will wash your hands of me and I understand. I do. I hope one day we can be friends. M’point is, I was all social activites-d out.
It was bitty boopy blindy-boo Iris’s 6th birthday Saturday, and if you didn’t wash your hands of me before…
Somebody at work put cans of cat food on the “anyone can take it” table, and they were fancy expensive cans of things like buffalo and pheasant. I thought I’d give one to Iris, seeing as most of the time she gets cans of “whatever dregs were in the meat murder room” flavor.
She didn’t even used to EAT cans. I read somewhere that canned food was good for kittens, and I guess that’s true because look how big Steely Dan got, and once she started sniffing cans, and who doesn’t like to do that, she got a hankering. So now I give adult cans to both of them, and I don’t mean that they are somehow dirty.
Lily doesn’t like a can. You’d think she wouldn’t be picky, but she is. She’s like one of those 250-pound women who run marathons and the world judges and it’s like, But you don’t know her.
Anyway, I gave a can of, like, wild boar and sweet potato to Iris, and she was all, “Ware delish dreg fud?” So.
My point is, after I took Iris to Chucky Cheese and she ate the mouse, I spent my Saturday shopping for fabric.
As you may already know, because your hand is up in June’s life, I have this old chair that belonged to my grandmother, the one I’ve turned into. It used to be this burgundy Naugahyde, and then my mother owned it and gave it these baby-blue flowers, which Lottie, my dog, fmr, quickly turned into mud flowers, and I act like “mud flowers” is a thing.
The spring and summer I had Lottie was a rainy one, and my yard is aching for grass the way I am for a martini at 8 a.m., so she brought a lot of mud to the chair situation. And one might think one could tell her puppy to just NOT leap onto the chair, but clearly you have not attended June’s Iron Fist of Dog Discipline yet.
I’ve wanted to recover this poor chair for awhile, but it costs, and funds were tight, but then this year I pretty much took on a second job doing freelance work, and you guys are shopping on Amazon by clicking through my not-blog, and boom. All of a sudden, and it really did seem all of a sudden, I got caught up. I’m not a millionaire, but I’m out of credit card debt and I don’t have to live on four dollars till payday anymore.
So, in a sense, when I recover this chair, it will be the recovery that you built. And I thank you. Most heartily, I do. My point is, I’d never gone to the fabric store before, and hey, overwhelming.
The good news is they’re moving, so every single piece of fabric was on sale, at least 50% off and some as much as 80% off. I tried to like any of the 80%, but it was all “Brady Bunch Plaid Orange” or “Smells Like Grandma” or “Gay Man in the ’80s” patterns, and I just could not.
The man who owns the store helped me, and was very kind, even though he was having a huge sale on a Saturday and was the only person working there. “If you have a dog, don’t get any silk fabrics,” he advised.
Naturally all I wanted after that were the silk fabrics. It’s like dating. I’m trying hard not to be drawn to another love avoidant, and I start chatting men up and after date number two, they’ll be all, “I really want to live alone for the rest of my life” or “I like to be in touch once every nine days” or “I was married once, for 8 months” and WHY DO I KEEP BEING DRAWN TO IT.
I liked this silk love avoidant flowered pattern in the middle, but who am I, Diana Ross? What do I need with a black flowered chair?
Green one’s pretty, and oh, look, silk. This fabric just wants to hang out, nothing serious.
Ultimately, I did get a green pattern, not silk, that wants to take things slow and maybe see other people. I love love love this pattern, and my whole goal while I was shopping was I’d pick a pattern that made me gasp because it was so pretty. This one did. It’ll probably keep texting its ex-girlfriend after we move in together.
The rest of the day was pretty quiet, and I binged Leah Reminy’s series exposing the Scientologists. When I lived in LA, I lived near one of the big Scientology buildings, and they bought up pretty much all the apartment buildings on the blocks around their big building, and I’d see people walking to work, from their Scientology apartments to their jobs at the Scientology building, and now I wish I’d have dragged them into my Bug and saved them all.
They didn’t make Sunday. Because of God. (When Harry Met Sally)
I had to work Sunday, because my work has changed recently and I’m not just on one team anymore; I copy edit for whoever needs it. It’s kind of exciting, but also, each account has different styles and needs and so on, so it’s more intense. I didn’t have to take my work home, but I wanted to so I’d do a good job.
I hope I did a good job. Next thing you’ll hear is me saying, Remember that thing I took home and fucked up?
My hallway was always beige, part of the Beige World Fan Club that the previous owner founded and lovingly ran. It was a labor of beige love. A couple weeks ago, I noted that one wall had annoying beige WALLPAPER, not just paint, so I peeled it off and this happened.
My casual peel cost me eleven million dollars in Alf repair (Alf is my ridiculous handyman), and then yesterday I painted that bitch. Goodbye, Beige Earl.
Sometimes I make zero sense.
So now it’s Sherwin Williams Quietude, the same color I’m painting my spare bedroom, you know, eventually. I still have to paint the trim in here, and that door that is not at all scuffed up from me throwing shoes down there at the end of the day because God forbid I walk all the way in there and put them in the closet I’m pressed for time, you see.
Also, I did not screw up and get paint on the ceiling. That’s where it’s peeling. Nother effing project.
I leave you with two things: My coworker Ryan’s dog, whom he brought to the company picnic. Look at his boopy half a face!
And this. When Ned and I broke up, I tried to unfriend all of his friends on Facebook, because I didn’t want any jarring reminders of him. I forgot about one of his friends, though, but that guy put up this old photo of Ned, and here’s the thing.
Usually I’m okay. You know. Ish. Usually I understand that it didn’t work with Ned, and that it’s sad but it’s okay. But then this photo just hit me, hit my stupid newsfeed, and it knocked me over.
I loved him so fiercely. I forget that sometimes. I’d like to forget it permanently. But oh god, did I love him. And it’s not at all sad that I downloaded this photo and kept it.
I guess that’s all my news that’s fit to not print. The chair guy comes next week to take my chair away and recover it, and I need you to know that when I left that store with my big roll of fabric, I said, “Well, I’m gonna bolt.”
I’m blogging (not blogging) at you while I’m drying my hair with my new Laila Ali ionic bonnet dryer! Oh, June, will your riveting ionic adventures never end?
As you know, I have hair. And my choices before work are: run some kind of water through it and look vaguely okay, if looking like King Charles II qualifies as “okay.”
And we’re talking that’s if it dries well. Because let’s say I don’t add enough gel, or I drive to work with the windows down, or I ACCIDENTALLY TOUCH IT STOP DON’T TOUCH IT STOP DON’T TAKE THE CAR, YOU’LL KILL YOURSEEEEEEE…
Also, “Don’t take the car, you’ll kill yourseeeeee” is from my favorite public service announcement:
Just one iota of a second. That’s all they needed to do, was cut this one iota of a second later, and I wouldn’t have spent the rest of my life obsessing.
Anyway. My other option is to wash my hair entirely, which means my coworkers have to watch in horror as I arrive to work with completely wet hair, even though it’s usually been two hours between the time I’ve washed it and when I actually arrive.
They’re still watching in horror at noon.
Or, I could blow it dry.
But Faithful Reader Beverly, who is in the same Women With …Hurr support group on Facebook as me, uses a bonnet dryer, and because I must BE Beverly, and live in her skin, I decided to get one, too.
Behold the Laila Ali Ionic Soft Bonnet Hair Dryer, below. I’m glad it’s ionic, because I enjoy irony as much as the next person.
And of course this is a link to Amazon. You know what a marketing genius I am.
When I first got the idea to live in Beverly’s skin and be her hair, I got on Amazon (not through my blog, because who has time for that bullshit?) and searched for bonnet dryers, and the first one to appear was this one above.
The fact that Muhammad Ali’s daughter was hawking hair dryers was kind of funny to me. Would this make me tough? She’s also pretty–would I be pretty if I used it? That’s generally my question for everything, though. If I use this/spend all my money on this/withstand this horrific outpatient procedure, will I be pretty?
But something came over me, something adult-ish this way comes, and I said, No. I’m not just going to impulsively purchase the very first bonnet dryer that the Ali family trots out, like some kind of willy-nilly bonnet purchaser. Ima be more like Ned, and research, and take my time, and never commit to just one.
Bitter? The Bitter party? Your table’s ready.
So I looked at reviews and read up and researched, and?
It said to get the Laila Ali Ionic Soft Bonnet Dryer. I got it on sale, somehow, and I see the one I linked you to is $45, and I’m sorry. It’s the only one they gave me to give you. Clearly Laila Ali and I are in cahoots, and we are fist bumping as I speak to you, and also, were you aware that sitting under a bonnet dryer makes you sort of sweaty?
When my grandmother, the one I have officially turned into®, used to sit under her bonnet dryer, one of her many cats would come sit on her lap, next to the dryer, I think because it was warm.
She would always have on her zip-up robe during dry-the-hair time–my grandmother did, not the cat–and always, always with her open-toed slippers.
Those kinds of slippers are exclusive only to grandmothers, as are zip-up robes, for that matter, along with those hard candies that have the strawberry wrapper on the outside, Pond’s Cold Cream, and disposable rain bonnets.
I adored these, and my grandmother had them at the ready, inexplicably, because it was important that y’do stay fresh when you are 3. Maybe my grandmother didn’t want to sit around till noon watching my hair dry.
Also, try cramming that cute rain bonnet back in that container. No, go ahead. I’ve been trying since 1968, but go ahead.
Okay, it’s been half an hour…
Oh my god, m’hair’s dry! And it’s cute-ish!
Thank you, Laila Ali. Thank you and your whole overachieving family. You are an ionic family, is what you are, and my hair appreciates your efforts.
Last night, after binge-watching several episodes of the most excellent Masterpiece Theater’s Victoria (June? Turning into a spinster before our very eyes? What?), I went to the door to call in that blight on my very existence, that gray bastard of a cat, Steely Dan. Often one finds oneself referring to Queen Victoria and a ’70s band/adult toy in one sentence.
And of course, Steely Dan would not come in. That cat does not come in. I didn’t even SEE him anywhere. As you recall, even when he was a teensy kitten
he could not be kept IN, and I kept just…finding him outside, even though I hadn’t LET him outside. Which was alarming. But that also alerted me to a knocked down…grill thing on my roof that had to be put back up and sealed, so, kind of a win. How he found that and figured out it was an escape hatch AT FOUR MONTHS, I do not know.
So now, the only way he’ll come inside is if he comes through the door himself and walks in, like he’s my husband. He’d be one of those husbands with the whole nother family. One of those husbands who although you totally suspect about the whole nother family, he’s still so handsome you’re still glad when he saunters in, white teeth flashing.
I called and I called and I called that gray-ass handsome bitch-ass cat last night. I hate it when he’s out all night. I worry. Occasionally, he’ll fight with the orange cat, although in truth it’s Iris who kicks Orange Cat’s ass the most. She’s really quite kerfuffled re Orange Cat, and I don’t know if it’s politics or race or what has them on edge with each other, but Iris and her half an eye is not a fan of that ginger bastard.
But back to Steely Dan and his prowling all night.
I think of giant pterodactyls swooping down to get him, which is realistic, and cat murderers with round bombs and bags with images of cats with red circles and slashes on them. Anything but the real things, like cars and dogs. The things that really scare me when you have a cat you cannot contain.
“Giant pterodactyls.” As opposed to those teacup pterodactyls they’re selling at those disreputable pet shops.
Anyway, as he always is, that gray animal awaited me at the back door this morning, famished like he’s on the prednisone. He leaped gracefully to his perch atop the fridge to eat his disgusting canned food that he’s a big fan of.
And then? After I was done feeding the normal cats, and giving Edsel his psychopath mood pills and allergy pills and grain-free dog food and WHY GOD with this dog, and after I made my coffee and so on? So, basically, five minutes later?
“Oh, Steely Dan, come ON,” I pleaded. “Please don’t leave again.” I mean, what’s so compelling? Do you think maybe he’s out taking up a collection to get me a new shed? Look at that poor rusted shed. I took the chic away from that shabby thing some time ago.
I tried to lure him back over with the promise of his exciting brother Edsel, but he wasn’t having it for very long. “edz too ssyko.”
I’ve captured the moment where I’m crouched, with the back door open, saying, “Kitty, kitty” as seductively as possible (please see spinster ref., part II, volume VII), with my camera in hand. Please also see “blank stare of cat ennui.”
I don’t know, man. He’s a spirited animal, is what he is. And is he, like, not needful of sleep, ever? I mean, sometimes he’ll come home and flop over and sleep like a mummified cat of Egypt for 20 hours, then demand food and (wait for it) open the door and leave. I’m like Ma Bailey’s Boarding House in It’s a Wonderful Life.
Anyway. I guess this is the hand I’ve been dealt. I’ve got the spirited cat, and when you CROSS THE LINE into three freaking cats, eventually you’re gonna get one that worries you.
Just as I was wrapping this up, I heard a noise.
He’s decided to grace the house with his gray presence.
I just took my last prednisone that I was prescribed in order to try to break up my current cycle of migraines, and what’s more interesting than hearing about someone’s latest round of meds?
Anyway, maybe a month ago, the doctor also put me back on Topamax for migraine, June says, continuing her riveting diatribe on medication, and our goal was to slowly increase my dosage to a fairly high amount. But as of late, because of said increase in migraines, we upped it more rapidly than planned, and let me tell you. Ever since some point last week, I’ve been feeling what you might call a tad blue. Maybe a tinge under the weather.
I was not keeping my sunny side up.
To put it mildly. Good lord, I’ve been Sylvia Plath without the smooth hair.
Two years ago right at this time, Ned and I broke up, and I moved for six weeks into my friend Kayeeee’s place. She was in Connecticut, and very kindly offered me her house while she was gone. My idea was that I would take those six weeks to begin to sort of heal, to regroup, to figure out what went wrong. I decided I’d work out every day to get my endorphins going, and write in my journal, and never use “journal” as a verb the same way I’d never use “orgasm” as a verb, and do my best to get through those first six terrible weeks.
Of course, I spent those six weeks eating fish sticks and watching Eternal Sunshine till tears fell in my ears every night, and also got immediately on OK Cupid in the hopes that I’d meet someone else right away so I could stop Feeling Things.
You all know how that went. Hey, any relationship ever since.
But I DID meet someone. I met my friend Mark. He lives in Florida. In my extremely healthy attempts to not have to feel bad, I cast a wide net on OK Cupid. That site lets you tell it how many miles away you’d be willing to go to meet someone. I believe at that time I set my availability parameters to “anywhere.” Because, hey, dude in Rome. There’s real possibility here.
My friend Mark, and I’m using his real name and maybe I should change his name to protect the innocent.
…My friend Hamlet, and wow, Random Name Generator, was from Florida, which I’ve already said, and way to move the story along, June. “I know you’re in North Carolina, and we’ll never meet, but your profile is great,” he wrote. So I read his profile, and right then I knew. He was our people. He’s hilarious. You would love him.
And so a friendship was born. We talk on the phone old school, the way Romeo and Juliet did. We forward each other hopeless profiles of people who write us (Love2PutItInU wrote me and I STAMPEDED to text that nice gentlemanly message to Hamlet). I’ve heard about his romances he’s had there, I bothered him relentlessly during the hurricane (because who doesn’t want to get a link to Ridin’ the Storm Out by REO Speedwagon during a hurricane?), and he’s had to hear about my hair and also Edsel, and while I’ve had ZERO LEG via OK Cupid these last two years, I did get me a Hamlet, and I cannot complain about that.
The point of my story, here, is that he happened to call me Saturday. “Hey, how you doing?” he asked, and I burst into tears.
“I feel I may be in a lull,” I said.
“Be happy,” he told me. His daughter, when she was little, used to say that whenever things in life were terse. She thought it might just kind of cure everything, those words: lighten the mood, get her out of trouble, whatever. Be happy. It was so ridiculous that it did kind of make me laugh.
We talked awhile, and agreed I should leave the house, and of course that made me feel better, and then careful readers will recall that a hot young man of color made his move, and who wouldn’t feel better after that?
So, I’m glad I had a Hamlet intervention.
But then yesterday I got all dark tunnel again, and it finally dawned on me: It’s the goddamn Topamax. Any time I’ve taken it, I’m dark-cloud June.
The last time I took it was right after Marvin left. Oh, happy day.
And the time before that was in 2008, and it coincided with my first mammogram, when they called me to say, “We found something very suspicious, and it doesn’t look good, and prepare for the worst” and FOR THREE DAYS I SHOOK ON MY COUCH till my next appointment, when they said, Oh, this is likely nothing, but just in case, come back in six months.
Now, a normal person might, say, put that appointment out of her mind, perhaps, but what I did, because please see above–and by “above” I mean 10+ years of this not blog–and then you tell me if I strike you as a normal person. Because what I did was live under this DAMOCLES SWORD OF DOOM for six months, Googling and Web MD-ing until Marvin no longer allowed it, and then obsessing and so on, and in retrospect, I think part of my days of dark dark black dark doom, over there, were half attributable to the Topamax. I mean, that was a dark dark time of dark. Did I say that already? Have I expressed it was dark? Did I get the point across that it was a total eclipse of the dark?
So, I think I can’t take Topamax. I think it makes me sad. The end.
I’ve left a message for my doctor, she says, not The End-ing, and instead of taking two pills last night, I took one. Usually I take another in the morning, as well, and today I did not. I missed my doctor’s return call last night (he always calls me back during the Edsel walk, and I don’t know why I don’t remember to bring the phone, except I have that dog on two leashes now, plus poop bag, plus squirt bottle, and I’ve got a lot going on, man), so I hope I’m not going off this stuff too fast, but I think I am not wrong about this. Because I already feel slightly less Pit of Despair this morning.
Good gravy. Also, gravy sounds good, because prednisone.
Did I mention what’s more riveting than someone listing off her meds?
Something woke me up last night–I can’t even remember what, now, but it was something I should probably be planning or preparing for, but what I did instead was roll over, thinking, “I’ll worry about that when I get to it,” and realized that will likely be my epitaph, which, by the way, June, nice 401(K). Continue reading “I’ll worry about that when I get to it”→