Drama in the millhouses

Hang on. If I’m gonna talk to you, I need slippers. It’s distracting how cold m’feets are.

…There.

The closet door is still open because Milhous is in there. The moment I opened it, he went DASHING in there like the closet has many interesting sites that he’s only read about online.

Anyway. Edsel and I did not get a lot of sleep last night, because there is some sort of drama next door, and here’s what I know.

I’ve spoken about the guy next door before. We’ll call him T. I’ve heard different accounts, but from what I can gather, he hovers around my age (looks older) (in MY opinion) (maybe everyone in the hood thinks we’re a matched set and they’re just waiting for us to fall for each other) (which might be difficult now as I think he is dead) ANYWAY he hovers around my age and I think he has lived here his whole life. I’ve heard rumors he had a full life outside of this neighborhood, failed, and returned. But I think he told me himself he grew up here.

I do know that in my back yard? Where that shed is? He cut that door that’s there when he was 8.

Apparently there was a dog who lived here and they never let it in (I know. Frown face) and he cut that door so the dog would have shelter. How the dog got the door open, I don’t know.

About a year ago, he came over with some paintings of his. “I thought you might like these,” he said. They were pretty good! I have two of his paintings up. “Yeah. I used to do stuff,” is what he said as he handed me the paintings, and that broke my heart.

He drinks, see. He’s bad to drink, as they say here. Therefore, he had almost no money. He did odd jobs here and there, but couldn’t really afford water and power. For awhile, the neighborhood chipped in for his water bill.

When I first moved in, he had this woman living there, helping him pay for that sort of stuff. She planted seeds from the dollar store and little white and yellow flowers grew on the side of the house. At night, they’d sit on the deck in back and Milhous would jump the fence and join them and their cat, Sissy. It was sort of lovely. She hung their laundry on the old line that their yard still has.

Then T, the guy next door, and his roommate with the flower seeds got in a terrible fight and she moved out. Not long after, he moved a young couple in. They seemed wiry, nervous. Even just watching them walk across the yard you got a wired feeling from them. Jittery.

The woman and I sort of became friendly, though. She liked gardening, and asked if she could pull weeds from my flower bed when she saw them, and sometimes she’d ask for a clipping of whatever was growing in the front or back of my yard. I always said sure. I gave them ice in summer when they didn’t have water. Sometimes I gave them food.

But it was obvious there were drugs involved, and then drug sales, and people walking in the back door, which meant past my damn windows, day and night.

Last week, about 647 police cars pulled up. They took my neighbor T. outside while they raided the house. They found … a lot. And they took the couple to jail, where they may be for a long time, according to the neighbors who know from this stuff.

Meanwhile, we all worried about T. There was rumor they might condemn the house, and then where would he go? His house was very quiet this past week.

Last night,

BOOM.

I heard what sounded like a gunshot. I don’t know why I didn’t hop right on NextDoor, which might as well be renamed, “Did anyone hear gunshots?” That’s all my NextDoor ever is. Except there’s one wingnut who gets on there and capitalizes every word and either praises or condemns the police, depending on his mood. His posts are always slightly racist, as well.

But the wingnut is neither here nor there. The point is, I heard a shot. But then right after I heard a motorcycle, and the people across the street have two, so I thought, Oh, their motorcycle just backfired.

But when I went to bed, I saw I had a text. “Did you hear that?” my across-the-street neighbor had texted me earlier. “Sounded like a gunshot real close.”

This morning, at around 5:30 a.m., I heard talking. You’ve never been in a neighborhood as quiet as this one at night. There are no neighbors behind us, just tracks and a steep dropoff, and we’re on a dead end behind us and also at the end of one road. So voices woke me up. Naturally, I turned on my Ring to see the front yard.

There were four police cars outside. They were next door.

I pulled on my robe and was delighted to see my sizeable ass in said robe on the Ring camera when I checked it later. A policeman was at the threshold of T’s door, taking pictures. “Is everything OK?” I asked, and oh, sure. We’re just a band of policemen taking pictures of a room before sunrise. Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina in the morrrrrrrnin.

“Everything’s fine, ma’am,” said the cop, and I have to tell you I don’t believe him.

So, I never went back to sleep, but no coroner came or ambulance. No fire trucks or anyone but police. And by 7 a.m., they had all left.

So what is UP? I’m dying to ask the neighbor across the street, but even though I saw her light on I didn’t dare text that early.

Did T shoot himself? Was it some sort of drug thing even though he wasn’t involved in the drug part? Is he dead? What is going on?

If I find out more from the neighbor at a decent hour, I will alert you.

Mysteriously,
June

UPDATE: A neighbor says she thinks she saw T. in the police car early this morning. So if that’s true, he’s not dead.

UPDATE 2: Same neighbor just went over there and the door is locked and there’s no answer. Which is odd. FRaDW.

UPDATE 3: OK, the guy who got arrested for drugs is out of jail and he came home (next door) to find all this stuff gone. That is why the police were called. The gunshot? No idea. That was hours apart. The gunshot was at 9:40-ish and the call to police about stolen stuff was at 4 in the morning.

The one written while the dog is outside

Don’t let me forget that Edsel’s outside, will ya? He has a routine: The moment we wake up, he champs at the bit to get outside (by the way, it IS “champ” at the bit, and be sure to say “chomp” if you want to drive me berserk), then he comes in to eat noisily and with gusto, then he stampedes out the door again because apparently that food ran right through him.

But today, in a stunning show of outside-the-box thinking, he wanted out a THIRD time, and I figured this out by the dog snout .002 millimeters from the door handle. I’ve no idea why he wants out a third time, but my instinct tells me it’s the diarrheee—as Faithful Reader Paula H&B would say for reasons I can no longer recall—or it’s a crow. Crows really piss him off.

Maybe he ATE crow and that’s why the diarrheee.

At any rate, hello. On Facebook of June the other day, someone said her coworkers all say, “Happy Monday” and I want you to know if anyone did that to me at work I’d report them to HR for harrassment.

In other news, I knew this would happen: Now that I have a pandemic finish line in sight, I’m incredibly restless. I know many of you are still, you know, donning a mask and going to Old Navy anyway, but I have not. Now that I know that it’s just a few weekends till I can don a mask and go to Old Navy, I am BESIDE myself at how dull it is to be home all weekend. This weekend was dull.

I did wash the kitchen floor, not that that’s exciting, but it is because, much like the carrot of soon-you’ll-don-a-mask-and-get-a-pedicure lurking before me, I now know my days of washing that kitchen floor with Mr. Clean are almost over. Here’s why. Click here to find out more. Link in bio. You won’t BELIEVE what—

OK, anyway.

As you know, I live in a neighborhood of millhouses that were all built at the same time and in the same way. So it’s convenient when you’re wondering about something about your house, as your neighbors all have the same house. We have a private Facebook group now, where we ask each other things like, “Who here has finished your attic?” and so on.

So that’s how I heard the floor under my delightful beige tile is possibly hardwood. And this weekend, since I had nothing better to do, I looked up floor people, not that they’re flat and tiled, and for the first time in a year had people come into my house.

Well, that’s not 100% true. Remember last summer when the fridge and dishwasher stopped working and I had to call an electrician and they spent 45 minutes figuring out there’s a plug across the room that got its thing unpushed in the plug part?

Call June for all your electrical needs.

So, OK, second person in a year. Anyway, he came in and looked inside my heat vent and could see that I have PINE under this dumb floor. PINE. So he’s coming back next month after all my vaccine-getting and after waiting for the vaccine mold to gel and so on, and then Ima have pine floors and yes I know it’s softer stop telling me that like I’m Carrie Bradshaw always stomping about in my stilettos.

The dog just barked. And I have not one but TWO boy cats on top of me. Now what do I do? It was a single bark, so maybe he won’t do it anymore. Maybe he was warning the crow with one well-placed bark.

Also, as if the soon-I-can-don-a-mask-and-live news combined with the soon-my-kitchen-floor-will-not-be-beige news were not exciting enough, I have OTHER, even MORE exciting news that I cannot yet share but trust me, it’s lurking there. Like a crow over Edsel. I can tell you soon. And not in a Dooce “I’m creating something new but really I never will” kind of way.

Remember how she was going to sell us ripped t-shirts? Then remember how she built a studio and we were going to bask in the greatness of said studio?

Then?

We never heard about those things again.

THIS good news does not affect you, really, at all, but the point is I’ll TELL you about it eventually, when I can.

I’d better go. I have work and then my trainer and then in just 26 days, I will be free. With a mask.

XO,
Juan

P.S. I let the dog back in.

Work it

Today I saw my trainer at 7 a.m. That’s the kind of butch-ass tough-ass ass-ass that you get when you read Book of June’s Abs. Which is going to by my new title once I get any. Abs.

I saw my trainer from May 2019 through late fall of 2020, and it got to the point that I could wear shorts without shame. And my forearms had that “she works out” sinewy look. But we have this money/retirement guy they give us at work—you can meet with him to discuss your finances—and you know how I’m gettin’ weird about my finances. He said my retirement looked good, so far, but encouraged me to put the MAXIMUM into it. I was already putting a lot away each month.

So I quit my trainer so I could put that money into my four oh wonk, and then I got fat. Right here in River City. With a capital F and that rhymes with S and that stands for Sonic.

Sonic, sonic, sonic…

I know my friend Seattle Steve is all, Why does she know a musical?

BECAUSE OF YOU, STEVE. OK? BECAUSE OF YOU. {sobs fatly}

So I kept telling myself to walk after work, or do Tracy Anderson, or take my ballet lessons I signed up for. And I would do those things a few times and then I realized sitting on the couch and eating is so much funner.

So I grew. As a person.

Then I went to the doctor and got my absurd cholesterol level and saw that when I was working out with said trainer my cholesterol was HALF what it is now. I called her on the drive home from the doctor.

“I want to get back together,” I said.

“Do you have any idea how happy my daughter’s gonna be? She said it’s so boring without June stories.”

So today at 7:00, we started back up, and am I hot yet? Is my cholesterol 14 yet?

And in case you wanted a cat count of who interfered with my training today,

Up yonder is culprit numero u-no-I-can’t-see-o. And behind her is culprit numero I-eat-number-two-o. Who is not a cat but he’s cat adjacent.

Also Milhous stuck his orange face in the camera a few times while I was doing a “plank.” I don’t know if it was a plank so much as sort of wet, distorted wood splaying on the kitchen floor.

Anyway, that’s done, and I stopped giving like 200% of my check to my 401(k) so I could afford this. I’m still putting away a lot. Calm down.

Oh! Also! We had a tornado yesterday. That was soothing. They warned us we might, as they do, and I once read when people say “they” they mean the Van Pattens. That was a long time ago, when the Van Pattens were everywhere. Remember Dick Van Patten from the hit show Eight is Enough? Why did we all watch that? It had a cast of the worst-looking people ever invented. And if you say, Oh, June, but that Grant Goodeve was a hottie, I don’t even want to know you. Why is that even a name?

Anyway, then there was Dick Van Patten’s son, Someone-Else-Van-Patten, who I can’t remember doing anything but having feathered hair and playing tennis with Farrah Fawcett. That seemed to be his only claim to fame. Feathered hair got you a long way then.

I’m telling you, the Van Pattens were a thing circa 1978.

So now I’m going to assume everyone would assume “they” is the Kardashians. Or Q-Anon. Either way.

I have a great idea, by the way. Can we go back to, “I don’t agree with that person’s politics”? Can we? Do we HAVE to make up shit about the other side, like, oh, they’re evil and cook zebras. BOTH sides, can we stop and just go back to boring old, “I really hate their stance on the minimum wage.” Can we just use our heads, please?

Why was I talking about Dick Van Patten? {scrolls up}

Oh my god, the tornado. Yes.

Remember in The Color Purple when Celie looks outside and says, “The sky was queer today.” Well, that was my yesterday. It was LGBTqueer. It was too … pale. And too still. And as a Michigan gal, I did not like it. I was just wrapping up my work when

BEEP BEEP BEEP!

It was not my ride coming to pick me up later, as they had promised with their Mr. Microphone. It was a tornado warning.

“Oh, son of a BITCH,” I said, and gathered ye petbuds while ye may.

Eds was not pleased. And perhaps you’re wondering how one gathers cats. I brought them into the hall with me, and some stayed, some strayed. And I thought, well. It’s your funeral, motherfuckers.

Later I saw on Instagram that Lottie Blanco has a large cat carrier she puts her two cats in during situations such as these, and I really need to be married to a sensible person like Lottie Blanco, except she’d have to be a dude as I enjoy dudes. Which, why? Given my experience with them thus far: why?

My point is, it was scary AF for awhile. The rain blew sideways in sheets, and there was a tornado nearby but not, like, on my street. The neighbors and I were all texting each other. “We just lost a branch!” I just lost my lunch, I thought. I didn’t handle it well. I was sort of shaky. But I faked it for Eds, who as you can see was blithely enjoying our trip to the Halls of Bad Medicine. Eds knew what was up. My outsides were calm but my insides were Large Marge’s eyeballs.

The point is, it passed, and this morning while I was waiting for my trainer to Zoom in, I saw 2394824905394 work emails. People just worked through the tornado. I was not one of them.

I have to go shower before work begins. I mean, apparently it never ends or begins at this point. But you know what I mean.

Statin island

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but usually I write in the morning. THIS morning, however, my head continued to scream at me and I didn’t feel like it. I’ve had a migraine on and off since Monday, which is becoming par for my course. They last ENDLESS numbers of days now, and I wish to be Marie Antoinette in that I want a bird’s nest in my hair and also I wish to be chopped off at the head. I want a bob, as it were. But don’t hurt the bird up in there, bob-bob-bobbin along.

Anyway now I’m drugged, and I’m taking a lunch break, which is a relatively new form of self-care I’ve embraced since getting burnt AF at work last summer. I found myself constantly exhausted and uninspired, so I Googled “What to do if you’re burnt out at work” and among other things I read, “Actually take breaks,” so now most days I dare to take a lunch.

The first few times I did it, I was on EDGE. What if someone emailed or messaged me and I didn’t answer immediately? It turns out, that has yet to be an issue. Me answering an hour later has not mattered. So. I take breaks. Like I used to in the before times.

At any rate, as I told you in a past post and why am I even mentioning this because no one reads me anymore. I belong to a page on Facebook that is allegedly for people who read this blog, except it’s becoming screamingly obvious that people are on that page and enjoying the cat memes but not my blog. They’ll ask me things like, “Oh, do you have cats?” or “Hey, June, are you hoping to have kids one day?”

“June, have you ever heard of Barry Gibb?”

Anyway. Supposing you actually DO read me, I mentioned the other day that I’ve been through one crisis after another since August of 2019, and with my first COVID vaccine this past weekend I’m kind of hoping my crisis days are coming to a close, but also that I had a physical coming up and I was hoping my doctor wouldn’t say, “Oh, June, your blood told us you have moments to live.”

You’ll be stunned to hear I worked myself up into sort of a lather over this. I even tried to go online and look at my blood results early, and they won’t show you till AFTER your doctor’s appointment, which seems…not legal. It’s MY blood. But maybe they know there are people like me who, when the result is .01 over normal, I Google it and find the worst thing it might possibly mean and then fly into a panic and buy my tombstone and order chicken salad for the gathering after.

So yesterday was my appointment and I had to call from the parking lot to say I was on my way up, like we were throwing a surprise party.

Here’s what I was hoping to hear: Everything looks good and your cholesterol is horrible. I say this because my cholesterol always looks horrible. So, being realistic, that’s the best I could hope for.

Her assistant came in first. Took my blood pressure. Looked for the telltale temperature. All was good.

“We might do a pap, so undress from the waist down. And then she’ll do a breast exam, so undress from the waist up and use this paper gown.”

“So, take everything off,” I said helpfully.

“Yes, take it all off,” said the assistant.

“Do you have dollar bills folded, or …?” I asked. No one likes me.

So I took it all off and waited in my paper gown for the doctor. I remembered the last time I waited in her office in this manner. I took a selfie while I was waiting, and I did a cursory search for it just now, to no avail. But trust me, I looked good. I—oh, wait, I just found it.

When I took this, so far all that had happened to me was a car accident. I had yet to be convinced of bladder cancer, then have surgery, then be isolated because pandemic.

I’d offer you a selfie of now, but just think of the photo above looking 20 pounds heavier and 20 months more stressed. Think of Elvis’s later days.

Anyway, my doctor came in, and I noted her looking at my white roots, with black curtains, at the station. “I’m getting my hair done April 24,” I told her, like this was a medical necessity she needed to be kept abreast of.

“Your bloodwork looks good. Everything’s great,” she said, and just as I was breathing a sigh of relief: “Your cholesterol is terrible, though,” she said.

I mean, it’s King Kamehameha terrible. So I hafta be on statin islands and as soon as I left, I immediately phoned my trainer and we got back together. When I last had my cholesterol checked, I was working out with said trainer and my number was HALF what it is now. And when I quit said trainer, I told myself, Oh, I’ll work out on my own and you know what I don’t do?

I also looked up “foods for cholesterol lowering” and have a list of items to get.

But, all things considered, I feel hopeful about it and am determined to lower the number because you know how I get. Well. Maybe you don’t. But it’s like my credit score. I get fixated and obsessed. This is my new fixated obsessed thing.

So that’s the latest and I will speak to you from a lower cholesterol level soon.

jpeg of my heart

First of all, I have a migraine, and I doubt it’s the fault of the fine folks at Pa-fizer, who gave me a nice pa-COVID vaccine on Sunday. I’ve been back to being pa-plagued with them, and I hate everything and everything’s ox uncle.

I know that made no sense.

For, migraine.

Anyway, I have to work with one today because I have a lot to do because I did the thing where I asked, “Does anyone need any work done?” and apparently everyone was just sitting still hoping their work would get done, because everyone in the company said, “Hells yes, I do” and gave me work. What that was was a delightful sentence. Anyway, everyone was sitting still not noticing God carrying them across the beach so they could make a plaque out of it later, and when I asked for work they gave me a shit ton, including many, many pages of jpegs, and if you ever are sitting about wondering how you can irk your copy editor, send him or her or they a jpeg.

Again, the simplicity and beauty of my sentences. It’s just.

You can’t WRITE on them, jpegs, so you have to draw up a second document and say things like, “On jpeg A39302jrm392o23, on the second line, move the “is” to be behind the “fuckmunch.”

So that’s speedy and convenient.

All this, with a migraine! I’m in a mood.

I’m so sick of these things. I’m so over them. Nevertheless, they persist.

Aren’t you kind of wondering now what sort of sentence has “fuckmunch is” in it? Me too.

Anyway, other than the MIGRAINE, which I am pronouncing mee-grane today just to make things international, I got no other side effects from m’shot. Oh, my arm hurts a little but big deal. I munch pain. I fuckmunch pain.

Also, I’ve set up about 37 million appointments and dates for after April 17, when I will be free to be you and me-grane. Oh, I have PLANS, man. Plans. And Ned gets his Johnson (heee) & Johnson (heeee) today, just by chance. He was at Walgreen’s filling a prescription and he was asked if he wanted to sign up. Of course, the whole time he’s telling me this story, he’s saying “Walmart,” and Ned is not a Walmart guy. Nine years I been knowing Ned and he’s not once darkened the door of a Walmart. So he’s telling me this story, and he tells stories like a chick, where you’re all OH MY GOD WRAP IT UP. And I’m thinking, Since when does he get his prescriptions at Walmart?

But I know from Ned and his words.

“Do you mean Walgreen’s?” I interrupted.

“I’ve been doing that all day,” he said, as Ned not only tells a story like a chick, he also reports the events of his day to about 17 different women, like a chick. Ned also always ALWAYS calls pistachios walnuts. And at this point when he says walnut I just assume he means pistachio.

My grandmother had a bunch of sisters and other women relatives whose relation to her is murky now. I just know there was Wa and Ope and Mary Gertrude. Wait. Wa and Mary Gertrude were the same person. Anyway, trust me. There were a lot. There was also a Sarie, which I suppose was short for Sarah and in 55 years I’ve never considered that till now. And anyway they’d all call each other and relay the events of the day. If there was a particular story to tell, I’d watch gramma get that giant heavy black phone and drag it right to her lap, in her chair. Each call started the same.

First of all, she’d have to dial the number on that heavy phone with the heavy dial-y part. Ka-churrr. Ka-churrr.

“Oh, whatcha doin’?”

It was never, “Hello, Mary Gertrude? ‘Tis me, Nita, your sister.” It was always, “Oh, whatcha doin’?” And then she’d deliver her story du jour to each woman.

Anyway, that’s Ned. And like my gramma, who called Neo-Synephrine “so neo sifrine,” he gets all words wrong.

Let’s talk today about products from the ’70s.

Are there any that haunt you? There’s one pill for colds I can’t think of the name of and it drives me berserk. It was orange on one side, like maybe it was baby aspirin, and then a normal aspirin on the other. WHAT WAS IT CALLED? I can never find it. I think it was chewable.

Anyway I have to go. One of my longtime coworkers is leaving, so while I’ve been writing this, I’ve also been chatting with him on our work chat feature. We’ve been talking about old times, and how when he started he was 23 and now he’s 30, and it was a walk down memory lane. Is what it was. The whole time he was there I just kept being a middle-aged woman. It’s funny how that works.

All right, Ope. I’ll talk to you tomorrow. OK. Haha. Right. Yep. OK. Bye-bye now.

Shot to thrill

I have always been able to do this.

When a regular inconvenience happens, I handle it like an asshole. Let’s say I lose my keys. I swear; I throw things around. I stomp about, searching and throwing and swearing. Then I find them and I am back to bluebirds swirling around my head with lilacs in their beaks.

When something scary might happen, I handle it like an asshole. If I think a breakup is imminent, or I’m waiting for health-related results, I obsess and I google and I’m snappish and the bluebirds take a week off to do coke in Reno.

But if something big really happens, if the shit actually goes down, then I do what I’ve always thought of as the big clampdown. Once the news I didn’t want to get gets to me, I say, “OK.” And then I clamp down. I feel nothing. I remember the first time I was able to conjure it up; I was 15 or 16. I won’t go into the bad news itself but let’s just say I got bad news, there came the big clamp, and I thought, “Oh. I didn’t know I had this option.”

I liken it to an anaconda after it’s eaten, say, an antelope. The snake gets really quiet and still so they can digest. That’s me when a crisis actually happens.

So, in August of 2019, things were going pretty well for me. I liked the house I’d bought, work was fun, and I had a delightful white foster kitten. Then on the way to the shelter to pick up said kitten after I’d (needlessly) taken her there for a little kitten cold she had,

BOOM

I got into a car accident. I remember the ambulance people took my blood pressure, and it was like 407 million over 6,052. I was alarmed at this, as my blood pressure is so low you can’t really call it pressure. It’s more like blood gentle insistence. “It’s high cause you’re freaked out,” said the ambulance guy, who probably has a title and I’m not thinking of it because time change and also a Norwegian or possibly North Carolinian Forest or possibly cemetery cat is lying across me getting his endlessly lengthy fur all over the space bar and I’m distracted.

So, once I found out I had a concussion, I clamped down. “OK,” I told myself. “I just have to lie in the dark for a few weeks and not look at computer screens and listen to a lot of audiobooks.” And I did. I got through it.

As soon as I was done having a concussion, I had the big bladder cancer scare. That started in October, and five months and five horrific and generally very uncomfy tests for various cancers later, I had surgery (did you know?) that didn’t really solve the issue at hand, but it did get rid of some things I needed to get rid of. So that was in February, and I had a hard recovery, and in March of 2020, I was finally starting to feel better.

“Hey, maybe now everything will be—“

BOOM

Pandemic.

So you know what I did? I clamped down. I digested the antelope all year. I got still and quiet, and did not let myself panic (much) and waited it out. I secretly seethed when I saw you take trips and just get together with 10 people. But I mostly just tried to muddle through this pandemic as best I could. My mantra was, “I don’t wanna be part of the problem.” Sure, I could probably go to that outdoor restaurant. Everyone’s doin’ it. But if I got sick, there was a higher chance I’d get really sick, and then I’d be part of the problem. I’d be one of the people crowding hospitals and taking up a bed and a ventilator.

Or maybe I’d be fine, but I’d pass it to someone else who would become part of the problem.

I just stayed in so I wouldn’t be part of the problem. I said that over and over while I clamped and I waited.

Then there was a vaccine, but it wasn’t coming my way, and I figured, oh, maybe June. Maybe July. Then there’s the 5 weeks or so you have to wait till you’re good to be back out there. So maybe August. Maybe September. And I kept digesting the antelope.

Maybe that’s why I’ve gained 20 pounds this year. I was on this reduced-power setting and couldn’t dredge up the energy to do much exercise. I’d do my work and I’d be exhausted. Honestly, maybe my low-power emotional setting was why.

Anyway, on Friday, one of my coworkers, who’s King Kamehameha high risk, not sorta high risk like me, wrote me. “Here’s a number to text. They’ll text you back with locales to get your vaccine.”

“Oh, I don’t—” I said. I had no hopes of getting mine for months.

“You’re high risk, like me,” she said. “You’re one of the only people I saw who actually stayed really safe. TEXT THIS NUMBER.”

So I did. And that afternoon, I had an appointment at this huge vaccinating center they have here in Greensboro. It’s the largest in the state. They were doing high-risk people a few days early.

There were so many reasons I didn’t think I’d get in. I didn’t think my lowly no-spleen immune system would count, even though my doctor told me from the get-go it did. Even though my cousin, who’s a COVID nurse, said, “Oh my god, STAY OUT OF CROWDS.”

But yesterday, I got my shot. I got my first vaccine! Even when I was in line, I thought, “Oh, they’ll tell me to turn around and go home.” I think my clampdown self was so convinced of not being done with this till late summer that the rest of me hadn’t caught up.

But you know what?

I got the damn shot. My roots and I got the shot, and on April 3 I get the next shot, and on April 17 I can go out like a normal person. A normal person with a mask. STILL.

I have a hair appointment at the end of April so I can stop looking like middle-aged Blue Lagoon. So I can stop loving Wilson and get off the island.

I have a Botox appointment right after that. And I have PEDICURES in my future!! I haven’t gone a year without polished toes since I’m 7. I realize I am the groomiest person you know, but it’s my hobby and I’ve been so busy being Jed Clampett all year, moving slowly and calmly and dissolving that antelope and I CAN FINALLY HAVE SOME FUN IN JUST 33 DAYS.

On the drive home from my shot, the radio played AC/DC’s Shoot to Thrill, which is a ridiculous song that I enjoyed thoroughly. I was over there singing along like I’m regularly plagued by too many women and too many pills. Too many women are pills, that’s what I’m plagued by.

Now, I have a physical tomorrow. Last week I had a COVID test and some blood work done in anticipation of said appointment. IT HAD ALL BETTER GO WELL. I’d like this year and a half of constant … stuff to be over now. If she says, “Oh, your blood is riddled with things wrong” Ima clamp down on her HEAD. So let’s hope for the best, there.

If everything goes well, Ima go Roaring 20s on your ass. Ima take my 55-year-old stiff self and hit the opium dens and the gin joints and 23 skidoo all over yonder. Ima make my own perfume in France. Ima see the Northern Lights while I sip really dark hot chocolate with vanilla-tinged whipped cream. I’m going to paint my nails different shades of peach and buy myself a peach sapphire to match. I will wear more leopard print and make my hair even bigger than it already is. I do promise, however, to never live, laugh, love about anything. I haven’t completely flipped my lid.

But my clamp is coming loose, y’all.

Tricky ways to get the COVID vaccine

I’m over here waiting my turn for this vaccine, which allegedly is only 5 days away, according to what my local government is telling me. I’m signed up for alerts on every site you can think of. But even though I qualify in 5 days, I can’t find an appointment anywhere.

I know about waiting for leftovers at places that are doing huge numbers of shots and I might do that if I can leave work on time. If you did that, tell me about how it went. And do you have any other good tips for how to get the COVID vaccine? I don’t want to bump anyone who’s entitled to it before me. I’m fine with waiting till it’s my turn. But once it is, how the heck do I get one even then?

Tell me how you did it, man! I just wanna go to a movie and buy some cosmetics at a real counter again! My dreams are lofty but they’re mine.

House shop with June

I’m thinking of moving to Michigan. Look, I’m not sure, OK? I’m in the deciding stage, where I have been since before the plague. But now that that is partially behind us, and my immediate family is vaccinated, and I am eligible for a shot on St. Patrick’s Day—which is the story of my life.

Actually I don’t know if I’ve ever actually DONE a shot on St. Patrick’s Day. Oh, wait, no. I HAVE. Several years ago, when I was thinking of moving to Winston-Salem (I know, OK?), my friend Marianne and I drove to a house I liked and shoulda bought, and we had dinner after and it was St. Patrick’s Day, a thing I recall because Marianne was GREEN GREEN GREEN oh my god GREEN. And they had some trollops there representing a whiskey company and they gave us a free shot of said whiskey and then they gave us all kinds of swag that I still own from said whiskey company and as usual Marianne made deep friendships with these young salesgirls, as that is the way of her people The End.

My point is, soon I will be able to move about the country, so I can go back to mulling this move. I wish to be closer to family and also I can keep my job; I’d just have to be a contractor. I realize that’s not ideal but it’s something that makes moving not impossible.

Plus, this neighborhood is bugging me. I’d kvetch about it but I don’t want anyone from this neighborhood to read this and abhor me. I mean, Faithful Reader Audra who lives on the next block reads me, but she’s bugged by the same things that bug me.

But on the other hand I love things about this house. I love the back yard, and all the light my little house gets. And how it’s six minutes from work, which will be back to being a thing soon, now that our break is over. I got on the habit of calling it a break and now I can’t stop.

My point is this: I’ve been sending my mother out on real estate hunts just in case I DO move, and I thought maybe it’d be fun to take you with us on our hunt. For Red October. What the hell is that? I mean, I know it’s a movie, and I assume it’s a BOY movie, so I never saw it because if anything gets chased or blown up, I do not care about it. Was Red October someone’s period? Was someone not wanting to be pregnant so they were hunting for it?

So, let’s look at the houses I’ve looked at and sent my mother to, so far.

Wait. First let’s look at one of the texts I’ve had with my friend Sandy.

I’ve been writing my Michigan people this week alerting them I might be moving their way. I had a long discussion with Hulk, of course. Hulk has retired and is bored so he’s looking for some sort of job to fill his time. I mean, he can now do ANYTHING, even be a cosmetics saleswoman at the Chanel counter, which may or may not be one of my dream jobs. We spent a lot of time trying to dream up a job for him, and it turns out our pal Hulk is frighteningly literal and it’s hard to get him to dream.

Somehow we meandered onto a job I loved: being a secretary at the old Episcopal church. I liked it cause it was such a beautiful old gothic church, and I mostly worked alone, except the occasional old parishioner would come in and I adore older people, especially now that I’m one of them.

“I could never work at a church,” said Hulk, who has to be literal about everything. Did I mention?

“I know, I just meant…”

“I mean, do you know how inappropriate I am?” he asked, on a roll the way I am about calling the pandemic a break.

Finally, we decided that if he got a job in a church they’d start a new movement called #YeToo, and I never could get him to see I meant to PROMPT him to think of a job he’d like. I also tried the prompt: “If they paid you in something other than money, what would you want? Concert tickets? Plane tickets? Kittens?”

“I’d need to work for money,” said Mr. Linear Thinker. Said Mr. Ima bout to get slapped directly in the ass by June.

Anyway, I also told my friend Saundra what I was thinking, and she texted, “Holy crap!” about 109 times.

So, she wants me to move right next to her, and see above where I warned her I’d be Wilona on Good Times, and then she made fun of my current references and really, we were roommates in college and we shared clothes and makeup and never fought even once, so moving near her isn’t out of the REALM, really. Her husband is tying a noose as we speak.

But let’s look, shall we?

OK, OMG, look how cute this one is.

Will I be, like, sued if I plop in photos? Here’s a photo from that house.

I have always wanted an entryway. At my apartment in LA we had an entryway. It was my favorite place I’ve ever lived.

OK, now how about this?

And, finally, here’s one in my actual home town, and I would have to redecorate, but I like to redecorate.

So, that’s what I’ve got so far and I will keep you posted and WHO EVEN KNOWS if I really will move. But I can shop. Shopping is free.

Talk at you,
June

The one where June gets really mad at Prince Charles

I just caught myself having an intense discussion with the Grays. They were both sitting on the dryer, looking at me rather accusingly. Even ol’ One-Eye was. I explained my side of things. On the washer next to them, Forest was zestfully eating his can.

“You both have sensitive stomachs,” I said. “Lily, you know you throw up.” At this, Lily kind of looked down. She knew of what I spoke. “So I spent a LOT of money, a LOT, you two, on dry food for you, and Forest, see —” [here I couldn’t help but pet Forest’s fine figure] “he’s young, and canned food is important for male cats; the vet said. So that’s why I want you two to eat the dry and not bug Forest when he’s eating his can.”

Anyway, it was somewhere in the middle of this soliloquy that I realized I’ve flipped my lid. Facebook memories showed me today that it was exactly a year ago that my friend Marianne came to see me, from Charlotte, and that was my last official unmasked visitor who actually came inside. I mean, Ned came to see me for the major holidays this year. But I don’t think of him as a visitor and he’s not been able to come here since January because they made him go back to work and most people there don’t believe in masks.

So I’m now having impassioned discussions with my cats and I guess we all saw that coming.

But that’s not why I’ve gathered you all here on the washer and dryer today. I was GONNA talk about the dumb things I did this weekend, which involved changing the stuff on my mantle, washing the floor, and even doing a spot of laundry and AREN’T YOU SAD I didn’t choose THAT to discuss.

No. What I’ve gathered you here to discuss is Meghan Markle, which makes me not original because at least in MY feeds it’s everywhere. But as you know, when Harry first got engaged to her, I was delighted. First of all, I find her very pretty and very pretty goes a long way with me. I realize this is not something I should brag about but I’m not bragging, I’m just telling you one of the ways I am sort of awful. Like, Scarlett O’Hara. Rotten human. But so pretty! I can overlook her rotten homewrecker slappin’ slaves personality because look at that eyebrow arch!

Look, I know, OK?

So, I enjoyed that she was pretty, and when I learned her mom was Black and her dad was white I thought, “Oh, this is wonderful! What a breath of fresh air she’ll be!” And like an idiot, because I like the Royal Family (and they aren’t even pretty! Well. Kate is. And she’s my FAVORITE.) I assumed they were unracist and also thought. “Oh, what a fine fresh scent we have here! We can mix up the dull pasty royal lineage with a person of color!”

I really thought that. As I am an idiot.

Also, I know someone who knows Meghan Markle. They worked together back before MM was famous. This friend of mine hasn’t wanted me to discuss it at all because she still has ties to MM in a way and didn’t want to screw up her job. But she

H_A_T_E_S

Meghan Markle with the fire of a thousand suns.

Now, I know my friend well and she gets angrily bent out of shape about people, so I took this info with a grain of salt, and every time she’d go off on a tangent, I’d say, “I don’t know. I kinda like her.”

But then I didn’t. MM seemed fussy, and she seemed controlling, she never took her damn hand off her damn stomach when she was pregnant, and then she made Harry leave. That’s how I saw it. She made him leave. And when my friend would call and we’d get on the MM topic, I was hating her right along with my friend.

Then last night I watched that Oprah special where she interviewed Harry and Meghan. And I don’t have TV. So I had to contort myself, and sign up for stuff I didn’t want to then quickly cancel it after, but I got to watch it. And here’s the thing.

I don’t think I’d like her in real life. She seems humorless. She seems like the kind of person who purses her lips and stops you in the middle of a hilarious routine on your hair or your rounded abdomen, just to throw a few random examples out there. She seems like the type who’d stop you and say, “You should really love yourself.” She seems like the kind of person who’d say self-care unironically.

I abhor strident love-yourself people. I enjoy my own self just fine. Don’t preach at me and for god’s sake, don’t be humorless. You know who I like? Anne Lamott. She does really have self-esteem and she loves herself just fine, but she’s hilarious about it. That’s the type of woman I enjoy.

So, I don’t think MM and I would be friends, particularly because I’d always be trying to take Harry from her, whom I adore.

But I HAVE changed my stance on her after watching last night. And if you haven’t watched it, I sort of don’t want to hear it from you. I already know your tired old “she knew what she was getting into” lines.

Once she said the family expressed concerns that Archie would be dark-skinned, I sat up.

Once she said she no longer wanted to live, and knew those thoughts were dangerous so she asked for help and THEY SAID NO, I saw, “Oh, that’s it.” They seriously didn’t care if she lived or died. And they weren’t going to provide Archie his own security, so they didn’t care if HE lived or died, either.

Nope. That’s when I noped right out of being on the side of the royals. And it sounds like it wasn’t really the queen. They both spoke so highly of the queen. It sounds like it might’ve been other family members, or the men in gray suits who are really in charge, the ones Diana talked about.

Anyway, I have changed my tune. I support them leaving. Oh, and when I heard Charles stopped returning Harry’s phone calls and cut him off financially in the middle of a pandemic and they had no security team because the family took it away? And Harry asked, “Does this mean the threats are lessened”? and they said, Oh, no. You guys have death threats all over the place. Bye!

Oh, I’m mad.

So that’s the way it is, Monday, March 8, maybe? Is it March 8? Hooo care. Every day is the same. Except today there are royal things.

–June

There is no H

Oh my god, I thought I’d never get here. For some reason, I kept trying to make my way into this room today and everything kept happening. First I turned on the dryer. It’s so randy. And the cats PANICKED and leapt off of said dryer. They were all breakfasting there. I swear they’ve eaten while the dryer is going before, but today they decided to panic over it. So then I had to literally herd cats and get them to finish eating, like Lily needed it.

Then I had to put clothes away and everything was just a cluster. I’d think I’d found all the pajamas but then no, there’s another pajam, on the bottom. OK, now I just have shirts. Oh, no, there’s your prom dress from 1983 in the laundry. Gotta put that back on its display at the Smithsonian.

1983 was really the worst year for prom dresses. We were all still trying to be Lady Diana with our poufs and we still had a little hoedown Gunny Sax in us and frankly we didn’t know which way to turn.

Anyway, how is everyone? I don’t care.

I’ve had a very busy week, what with family tragedy and then I’m doing new stuff at work and then for some reason I seem to be the person on everyone’s mind this week as well. I’ve gotten texts from people I haven’t heard from in months. Years, even. One dude I sort of had a flirtation with circa 2017 just stampeded back.

Why? Why now? Why not a few weeks ago when the days yawned before me?

But once you’ve got 400 things to do and it’s all you can do to get the one thing done and then think about the next, THEN you get the “Oh my god it’s Carol from Kindergarten! How are YOU, June!?” and you felt like a bitch-ass for being all, “Can you try me in another 50 years? I have shit to do this week.”

I think it’s an ADD thing. I have to concentrate SO HARD to finish one thing and remember I have to do the next. It takes all of my brain. I wish there were surgery for this. I realize there are pills but they give me (brace yourself) a migraine. I’ve tried Ritalin and Adderall and some new one called, like, Vivian Vance or something. I’m certain that was it, June. Vivian Vance.

I was on an antidepressant and an ADD thing and they both started with V. Vyvance and Vybrant or Vivian and Vance. I’m telling you it was something like that. Anyway of course I had headaches every day I was on them, which was from January 1 of 2020 till February 17 of 2020 when I had my … surgery. Then I just stopped taking them.

So now I have to go around cranky (no antidepressants) and scattered (no ADD medicine) because I fear the headache.

So I think that’s why I get so thrown off by a chatty text. Because I know I can’t start or I won’t stop. That’s the problem. I can’t be distracted by something just for a moment because it won’t BE just for a moment.

But speaking of chatting with people I haven’t talked to, my ex-cleaning lady Alicia sent a long emoji-filled text re Meghan Markle, her arch enemy, a text I didn’t answer because busy. I know I have to do it eventually though and it’s another thing I have to concentrate on.

Does anyone else here have the ADD, which I know they call ADHD and I have no H in my ADD. Do you have any tips? I had one therapist who just told me to keep telling myself, “Right now, I’m thinking about putting away the laundry. That’s it.” And that does work. I find myself drifting over to putting away all the reading glasses but I yank myself back.

Anyway, any other tips? Tips of any kind?

I have to go. I have to get some work done and then I have to play with Edsel and then I have to make dinner and then I want to write a note to my Aunt MaryEllen. Oh, and do my last Facebook live on weird lip balms.

Oh. And get more laundry detergent and soap. Regular soap. For washing oneself.

Also, do I need a vitamix? Is it that superior to other blenders? Reese Witherspoon, who Griff once called Wreath, has one.

Also, why isn’t my tax REFUND (shut up, Fay) back yet? It was supposed to be here by now. The state one came, with its big $27. But the federal one is stuck on “received” when you go to Where’s My Refund.

OH MY GOD, SEE? This is why my head is annoying.

Scatteredly,
Juan

P.S. I feel like I oughta add a photo. Hang on and I’ll get my phone. Who knew 10 years ago that that would be a normal sentence?

P.P.S. I ended up letting Edsel out, going out WITH him, letting the gray cats in, letting Edsel in, getting a protein bar, washing the fridge handle and thawing some meat, then I came back and sat down and realized I forgot the damn phone.

There. You’re welcome.