Be happy

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?


June, emerging from her pit of despair


Pain Bryant

I can’t really go into my headache study all that much, because of confidentiality and so on. But–and please don’t ask for more clarification, I can FEEL you all asking for more clarification–at the beginning of the study, I had to do a pain-threshold series of tests. Yes, they inflicted pain on me. Continue reading “Pain Bryant”

Pierce and Honeycutt

Dear Faithful Reader Paula:

You know that feeling you get when you wake up during the workweek, all on your own without the aid of your alarm, and you feel rested and you know OH FUCK, something is very wrong?

Continue reading “Pierce and Honeycutt”

Doctor Who?

Yesterday I got a new doctor.

If you consult your Big Book of June Events, you’ll recall that I have some…trouble with keeping medical professionals. Doctors are my Spinal Tap drummer. Continue reading “Doctor Who?”

Pom wonderful

Perhaps you’re wondering, “Did our dear friend June expire? Is she on the other side of the grass? Feeling the silk?” It always kills me when I say that and someone out there doesn’t get it. You’re dead. In the coffin. The silk-lined–oh, forget it. Continue reading “Pom wonderful”

Aura. And not one of mystery.

I have a ding-dang aura. If you are not a migraine person, and aura is this zigzag pattern in your field of vision, rendering you pretty much blind. It will go away after a while, but I literally can’t see the screen to type you. I’m speaking into my phone.

Also, Lily is in my lap, taking full advantage of the fact that I am prone.

Since I can’t see, talk amongst yourselves. What is the one thing in your life you wish you were doing differently?

June Gardens’ Day Off

I took the day off yesterday to work on my freelance work, and then I never worked on my freelance work.

Welcome to me. Welcome to the splendor of me.

The first thing I did was get together for coffee with Lilly of Chris and Lilly, and I like how she has to be half a person whenever I refer to her. But here's why: "I'm having coffee with Lilly," I told my mother.

"Your cat Lily?"

You know, technically I have coffee with Cat Lilly every day. You know what I should get? Is a tiger, and name her Tiger Lilly. That wouldn't be confusing at all, to have my tiger named the same thing as my cat. Fortunately for all of us, once I moved old Tiger Lilly in, she'd quickly be the only pet, kind of like the time some yahoo brought a praying mantis to "capture a bug and bring it to the school aquarium" day. We all watched our submissions get eaten, one by one, with just old green Laura Dern remaining in there.

Faithful Reader Paula is watching that Large Giant Lies or whatever it's called, and she's become obsessed with Laura Dern–or as my mother called her, Lorna Doone. My mother is watching that show, too. Stupid White Lies. What's it called?

Anyway, so it was good to see Lilly, even though she pointed out it'd only been 19 days since we'd seen each other and not my usual required 30. But, see, I'd asked her to coffee, so I didn't have to form my huffy, "GOD, I just SAW her" thought.

I'm a delight.

Also, I took a long spring drive in the country, something I have always loved doing. I've always wanted to live in the country. I never have. Movin' to the country, gonna eat a lot of peaches. Movin' to the country, gonna eat a lotta peaches.


I miss the '90s.

Anyway, the other crucial thing to happen is that the thing happened again. I had ZERO SYMPTOMS and then yesterday I woke up 100% stuffed up, and I can't taste anything, and I am miserable. It got worse yesterday as the day wore on. Why, god? I don't understand how I keep getting these instant colds, just add water.

If you get out your Big Book of June Events (what color do you see the book? I see kind of an old-timey sage green), you'll note I just got OVER the same thing about two weeks ago. What the HELL? I eat right.

God, that bolt of lightening almost hit me.

Anyway, after I drove to the country, ate zero peaches, had coffee with Lilly the person and not the cat, I headed to the grocery store, where it was chicken chili day, so I got a big tub, and then oh yeah, I really should change the filter in my furnace because pets, and oooo, I need coffee for work and I should get decaf and then caf for bad days, and oh geez, my allergy medici–


The chili. The chili fell out my hands, y'all. The chili fell out my hands and due to that whole gravity nonsense, sploop.

Oh my god, humiliating.

That didn't stop me from getting chili again anyway.

Is chili fattening?

Anyway, that floor chili was the last thing I remember tasting. Ever since then it's been, Oh, I'm consuming some orange cold liquid that tastes like nothing and, oh, here's hot brown nothing that I'm drinking.

My grandmother was an excellent cook, and the best thing was her mashed potatoes. I lived for those. Eventually, my grandfather retired and they moved to Florida and then North Carolina, my grandparents did, and I didn't see them much. But eventually when I was 25, my father and I drove to North Carolina and had Christmas dinner with them AND I HAD A COLD.

All I'd wanted to do was taste those mashed potatoes, and there I was. Oh, the texture seems fantastic.

Just think. I was in the same state as Ned and didn't know him yet. I could've asked to borrow the car, driven from Asheville to Raleigh, knocked on his stupid college door and said, "In 22 years we're going to meet, and Ima tell you right now: Just KEEP ON WALKIN'. When I write you on OK Cupid, KEEP ON WALKIN'. …Well, see, OK Cupid will be this dating site online. Well, online is going to be…"

Did you ever wonder about people you met at certain times? Like, 1990 me would not have liked 1990 Ned, for shizzle. He didn't have long hair, he wasn't in a band, he was in a fraternity. No way. But I feel like for the first 45 years of my life, no matter when I'd met Marvin, I'd have liked him right away. If I met him now, though, he'd no longer be my type.

Not rich enough. I'm sorry, but that's become important to me in m'twilight years.

While I was writing you, I felt kind of funny, so I turned around and…


You guys. God knows I love Lily the cat, god KNOWS I do, but holy Christ, she's an idiot. First of all, she doesn't know to meow to get my attention. And she doesn't know how to come in. You go to the door and she just stands there on that shelf. I've even shut the door on her, telling her she HAS to jump down and walk through the door, but it doesn't help.

So sometimes I pick her round football self up, place her on the deck, and she always


starts heading the wrong way. "Inside is this, way, Lily."

Poor Lily. At least she's pretty.


On the other end of the spectrum, we have Mr. I Be Smart and Bored and Maybeee a Claw in Edz Would Brake Up Moe Not Nee. Which is a long name. Almost as long as Steely Dan.

Speaking of SD, yesterday Alf, my handyman, came to give me a new gate, because y'all gave me so many tips that I could afford the $165 that cost me! That gate has been a travesty for years. The wood is rotting, and if Edsel had any chutzpah he'd had escaped through it ages ago. Also, you had to…LIFT it UP in order to open and shut it, otherwise it'd drag across the ground in a most undelightful way.

Bonus: Edsel-peeing shot! It has to weather awhile before Alf can paint it. The gate, not Edsel's pee.

The point is, after Alf my handyman and I exchanged numerous giggly texts:

Alf: The 42" gate is really cheap. Would six inches make that big of a difference?

June: I'LL say it does!

Alf: heeee!

June: heeeeee!

We are both in our 50s.

Anyway, so after we revisited 7th grade a LOT, and even texted "stud" and slayed our own selves, he came over and had the back door open (heeeee) while he worked. This left the screen door with the hole in it (Alf's next project) open all afternoon, which meant Steely Dan could SOAR through the hole like a tiger at the circus, or my pet Tiger Lilly, all afternoon.

He was obsessed.

"That cat is crazy," said Alf, indifferently, as he worked. "Is that the one who was in the tree last time?"

No, that was Iris.

"You've got a lot of cats," mused Alf, and his Obvious Seminar starts next month. Sign up soon.


At 4:00, Edsel and I retired to the bed, because it was one year exactly that Tallulah died. We talked about our favorite Lu memories, and remembered the good times we had with her, and how much we missed her and then Edsel told me he'd really like a new dog friend and won't I please go get that pitty that needs adopting?

Shut up. He did SO.


And she's a medium! Look how it'll save me in psycics!

I know. I KNOW. You don't have to tell me.

Okay, I'd better go. I feel awful and my head is stuffy and I feel awful. Did I mention? What the HECK with these colds from nowhere?



The one where June’s family assumes she’s missing, has fit

I woke up Thursday with a migraine, which is annoying. When you wake up with one, there's really nothing you can do. It's often too late to take medicine. But took some I did, and fortunately it worked, so I only had to work with a migraine for, you know, three hours or something comfy like that.

Then on Friday I woke up with a migraine.


And because I'd had one the day before, that crept back in at night, I'd taken two pills Thursday, which means on Friday I had half a pill left.

Here's the thing about my goddamn medication. You get nine to a pack. That's all they'll sell you. And you could go around with two-and-a-half pills for three weeks before you need more. And they won't do refills till 30 days have passed.

So what ALWAYS HAPPENS is I have a bad day, get down to one or one-and-a-half pills, panic and call the pharmacy and



get told I don't have any refills. I swear to you it seems that way. I get migraines constantly, every month, since I'm 25. JUST GIVE ME THE GODDAMN REFILL.

So then I call the doctor, and I have to sit through that


voice mail, where they



tell you to pay attention cause their prompts have changed, and why the fuck do they always do that? Why? They HAVE NEVER CHANGED IN NINE YEARS OF THAT PLACE.

So you finally get the assistant to your doctor, but you never REALLY get her, no. You get a machine, of course, telling you that if this is a real emergency to hang up and dial SUCK MY DICK YOU CONDESCENDING 20-YEAR-OLD NINNY.

THEN, they ask you to be sure to tell them your name, the patient's name, their date of birth, a phone number "where you can be reached"

Oh, really? Because you don't want to FUCK AROUND with voice mail? Really? I wonder what that feels like.

The point is, they go on and on after and you can never remember, by the time it beeps, what all you're supposed to tell them. Also, ALSO, every doctor at that place has at least one day a week that they're gone by noon. At this point I work with THREE doctors there, so often have I called needed a refill and the doctor is out till the next



ALSO, if this weren't enough, they tell you, Prescription refills will be filled within 48 hours.

Why don't you suck my enormous fire hose of a dick.


So, you see how I maybe got a tad hot under the collar just now? You can imagine my sparkling mood Friday morning when faced with all the above AGAIN, for the NINE HUNDREDTH TIME, and basically the message I left for the "assistant" aka never-ending voice mail contained even more F words than I've already uttered. I was SO ANGRY.

In case my mood wasn't clear. Oh, and also? I'd tried the pharmacy three times to see if they could help, and it just rang and rang, and finally I called customer service. "The pharmacy isn't open yet, ma'am." What is this, 1980? You can't have a MESSAGE saying that? I get machines when I don't want them, and I don't get them when I need them.

Seriously. When you're sick, the last thing you should have to put up with is all that bullshit.

So I left the F-y message with the doctor on my drive to work, then called my stepfather and had HIM call in my goddamn prescription, as he is a doctor and plays one on my blog.

Several hours later, I was working, when my phone rang. It was my doctor's office. By that time I was so mortified about how sweary I'd been that I did not pick up. Now I gotta get a new doctor.

I mean, really. It's bullshit, that place.

I can't remember now what I did on Friday night–oh! I got my fortune told.


I went to the place I always go, and Ima keep her predictions a secret this time, and let you know later if she was right. "Can June really afford to see a psychic?" everyone's asking, lips pursed. NO, okay? I LEARNED IT FROM YOU, DAD. I learned it from you.

Name that commercial.

On Saturday, I woke up with a migraine.


Because I'd been so busy psychic-ing on Friday, I'd failed to get my prescription filled, after all that. So go to the pharmacy I did, on Saturday, where next door at PetSmart they were having dog and cat adoption days, and why do you guys let me go to things like that? It'd be like letting the men's Olympic skating team peruse PenisSmart.

There was a large, black, Lab/Newfie-looking mix of a 7-year-old dog there whose people had to go to assisted living, and she was sweet and calm, and see above ref to PenisSmart. Goddammit. I can't seem to forget her. Her WindSong stays on my mind.

Anyway. I also attended a movie with Wedding Alex; we saw Get Out. Have you seen Get Out? There go my chances for ever banging a man of color. Every man of color in America is gonna look at us white girls askance now. Especially me. "Oh, come on home to my liberal therapist family!"

On Sunday I woke up with a migraine.

Mother of god.

I mean, this was a horrendous migraine. Of the don't-throw-up migraines. I literally got out of bed twice Sunday: in the morning to let Edsel out and to feed everyone, and in the evening to let Edsel out and to feed everyone. I ate nothing (of COURSE I weighed myself today. What are you, new?) except for some fizzy water I used to swallow the


I took to feel better, none of which worked. Edsel crept gingerly to my bed and licked my temple where it hurts, meaning most likely I have a tumor. Which, GOOD. Then they can fix it or I can at least die.

Finally, at, like, 10 p.m., I looked at my phone for the first time that day.

I had 939485839393 messages.

Oh what the fuck, I wondered, barely able to function.

Seems I'd left a sad image on Instagram Friday, which I did, but mostly cause I thought it was beautiful writing and I wish I could write anything poignant other than "fuck" all the time.


I also wish I had a tidy little name like Lang Leav. How easy it'd be to sign for things.

Well, anyway, my father saw it, and apparently texted me at some point Sunday, and when I didn't answer, he called, then he called again, and THEN HE CALLED MY MOTHER to say that I was "missing" and then he called my aunt, and then my mother called Ned

to whom I'm not even speaking

and then everyone called me, EXCEPT FOR NED, who apparently does not care that I'm in a shallow grave somewhere.

So, picture it. You've been wishing to die all day, with the pain and the nausea and the sleeping and the more nausea and pain, and then you look at your phone and you have

EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND PEOPLE to call or text back with "migraine."

Then everyone calls and texts back. "Oh, good! I was worried you were dead! And also, while I've got you on the phone, blllooopeldy bloop bloo! heeeee! And bloodeldy bloop! What do you think of that, June? …June? Are you there, June?"

Oh my god.

Plus also, I had to call Ned, to whom I'm not speaking in case I hadn't mentioned that, and he was all, "I talked to your mother, and we discussed movies, and then I went down and locked my doors in case you were coming over here to kill me."

It wasn't till much later that I got


that Ned just…LOCKED HIS DOORS and didn't COMB THE STREETS looking for me. JESUS! Locked his doors. Oh my god, irritated.

So that, folks, is how I managed to have drama in my life even when I was lying there dying and minding my own business.

hoo care. we lock door; we heer you missing.