Geez Louise. Not to swear at you right off the bat. But it’s a cold morning over here in Book of June Land. Yes, I have my own land. A third of an acre, to be exact, and you can go ahead and envy old Land Baron June, here.
The HIGH today is 61, and I don’t know when I became my grandparents with my weather report and all. But really. It’s June in the South. June in the South shivering in June in the South.
Last year at this time I was headed for Michigan; I know this because Facebook memories told me. But also because you know how I am about dates.
Edsel and I took a road trip in my brand-new baby-blue car that I loved so much until a truck plowed into it. We—Edsel and me, not the truck and me—stayed overnight at a fancy hotel in West Virginia on the way, which I know sounds like a contradiction in terms.
Once, years ago, I took that same road trip with … let’s just say the last person I went out with. I was taking him home to meet the fam. Once my cousin just said, “To tell you the truth, June, they just seem like one big blur at this point.”
I have two cousins, that one included, who I feel the same way about. Wait, is this the guy who went with us to … Oh, this is a different guy? Okay.
Oh, is that the one she was engaged to? Oh. Oh, okay, different guy. Got it.
What can I tell you. We have charms that might not be long-lasting.
Anyway, I was taking The Last Boyfriend to Michigan and we stopped at the same fancy West Virginia hotel, says June, who has been home 118 days and has to sit with her memories.
Unlike Edsel, this former boyfriend looked out the window and said, “Hey, there’s a bar across the street. We should go.”
See. This is one of those things you should ask someone up front. You should ask, “Let’s say we work a whole day then drive six hours through scary mountains and freakish highways. Let’s say we finally check into a hotel. Do you (a) want to order room service and watch Lifetime Television for Women or do you (b) want to GO OUT ANYWAY because you’re a freak?”
Anyone who answers B can be shot immediately.
So because that was back when I was trying hard to get a proposal, I said OK. God knows we haven’t done enough today. Let’s also go to a bar.
So we headed across the street, and have you ever seen any David Lynch movies?
It was a long narrow bar; I believe this place used to sell junk or antiques, and I say that because the storefront still displayed dusty faded junk or antiques in the window. There was a tin ceiling that had seen things it didn’t wanna talk about, and way down at the end was an old weathered juke box with songs that hadn’t been updated since everyone went looking for Tony Orland’s sweet gypsy rose.
There was a woman, in shorts, in November, swaying back and forth to Peggy Lee. Apparently, yes, that’s all there is.
There was a man just face-down on the bar. Just. Face-down. Like that’s what people do at a bar.
“What can I get you?” asked the bartender, who was chipper despite bartending for the World’s Saddest People.
“I’d like a chardonnay,” I said. “More oak-y than buttery.”
“What kind of IPAs do you have on tap?” asked my date, uttering the Official Words of the White Man.
We ended up each drinking whiskey. Mine had Coke in it, like a wedding reception.
How did I get on this topic? I can’t remember. Oh! Because last year on this day I was headed to Michigan with the Eds. That was a good trip. When we got to our room, Edsel was happy to munch his welcome treats and lie next to me whilst I enjoyed the Hallmark Channel. You won’t believe it, but this big-city woman met a plaid-shirted man in a smaller town, see, and …
Anyway, what’d you do all weekend? I am seeing on Facebook and Instagram that people are, you know, going out, and you know the coronavirus numbers are still going up, right? You know that? Do you just not care? Are you suicidal? I don’t get it. I saw two big parties this weekend. I’m over here living in my plastic bubble till god knows when.
I did drive out to the country to an outdoor store that sells lawn ornaments and plants and strawberries. I got two hanging plants for my front porch and a big mess of strawberries that I have been living on ever since.
I also made a big list of things to do all weekend and the only one I didn’t do was get down on my hands and knees and scrub my large area rug, because it sounded miserable. Doesn’t that sound miserable? But it looks dingy after two years of animals throwing themselves across it.
I have to “go” to work now, and by “go” I mean I have to stop typing this and start copy editing something I have waiting for me. It’s quite a commute. I remember commuting in Los Angeles and wishing for a shorter and commute and LOOK AT ME NOW.