June in June in the South

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.

Pandemically,
June

Isn’t it ironic. Doncha think?

I’m writing to you on Thursday evening because I find myself stampeding to my work as soon as I wake up now, due to busy. I’m busy busy busy busy busy. Thank heavens for Angie’s List. Remember when we all hated that commercial together?

Anyway. As a result I don’t have time to write in the a.m. sometimes and I know I will do the wake up and work tomorrow so I’m writing you now.

On Wednesday afternoon, I was thanking heavens for Angie’s List because busy. And then at 3:30 Poochie—remember Poochie?—asked if I could do a different task before end of day. “I can try, but I really really super extra have to be done at 5:00,” I told her, “because I have an appointment right after work and I have to pay if I miss.”

I realized then that it sounded like I was in therapy, and who cares if I am, but that made me self-conscious so then I let it be known to the universe and everyone on the work chat that it was, in fact, my personal trainer I had, and I am certain no one cared one iota and just wanted me to get the work done. Not to mention they must think, Why, she doesn’t need therapy. Just look at her successful love relationships, and her fine temper.

I did it, the work I mean, just under the wire, and at 4:57 I signed off. My phone had alerted me it was trash night, and every night is trash night here, what with the shenanigans and sexual hooosits going on [Narrator: There were no hooosits going on there], so I RUSHED out the door to roll the extra super heavy full trash cans out to the curb.

This house is on a hill, so the last part of the roll gets dodgy. Milhous was in his usual position of greatness atop the can, rolling down there like the King of the Hill.

You’re welcome.

When

ACK!!!!

somehow I got distracted or something, and I rolled that NINE MILLION POUND TRASH CAN right up onto my foot. Milhous slid forward but remained on his carriage.

You know that feeling when you know you’ve really fekking hurt yourself?

I hobbled into the house like a Revolutionary War hero with my fife, and I know I need to get a new joke but it works so well. I just needed a bloody strip around my forehead. Like a violent Olivia Newton John Adams.

Immediately it swelled. I texted my trainer and canceled.

So basically I was in a huge hurry because I had the trainer and I rushed outside with no shoes to roll the trash cans down because I had my trainer and then because I was in a hurry I missed my trainer.

The end.

Anyway today it hurts but I can walk on it, and the swelling is mostly gone and what I’d really like as a reward is a nice bruise to be impressive. Not that anyone sees me. But I’ll know in my heart.

Also, it’s probably terrible for you to wake up and immediately turn on the computer and start working, right? Like, you should ease into the day and not be a fireman copy editor where the alarm goes off and you slide down the grammar poll.

Do you like to watch chiropractic videos?

I realize that came out of nowhere, but in my head I was thinking that part of why I wake up and commence to working is because I don’t feel tired at night so when the alarm goes off in the morning I hit snooze like 109 times. Sometimes I watch YouTube videos of people getting adjusted when I can’t sleep, and while it makes me drowsy not one whit, it’s kind of fun to watch.

What do you do to get tired at night? Or are you already tired so it’s no problem? My grandfather? Anytime he sat in a comfortable chair he’d fall right asleep, but I think that’s because he worked different shifts and his sleep schedule was all fucked up.

Anyway tell me how you sleep. I don’t wanna get hooked on the Ambien so don’t suggest that. I’ll be one of those people who wakes up naked in the bear cage at the zoo.

HOLY CATS. There was just a huge boom. Ima go run and see what that was–sounded like on the next block.

June

That’s a spicy meatball

Edsel and I decided to pen our blog outside today, as it is lovely out here. 74 degrees, not humid yet, lovely breeze. I hear my neighbor’s rooster crowing.

For the last few nights we’ve heard cicacadas and seen fireflies.

It wasn’t till I put this picture up on the larger screen that I noticed Iris back there like a blind sentinel with her gang member St. Francis.

I wish I had anything new to tell you, but since each day is really the same other than, “Will I get a migraine today?” [Answer: Usually yes, lately] I don’t have much to report. What if this pandemic breaks my blog because I don’t have anything new to tell you ever again? What if the rest of my life is just getting up, working, working out, eating, cleaning up and bed?

Actually, that doesn’t sound all that bad. I’ve just entered old ladyville a bit early, is all.

Oh! I know one thing that’s new and you will be delighted and overwhelmed and you’ll likely grab the kids in excitement.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been home more lately. Harrr. Actually I’m starting to feel like the only one who’s still home all the time. But anyway I’ve been home a lot lately, and have not gotten to have any of my delicious regular dinnertime choices such as Sonic.

I bought a lot of Lean Cuisines at first, and then I got so sick of them. Honestly I never want to see a pizza roll again.

I’ll give you a moment to gather yourself.

So one day I was scrolling on the internet, as you do, and saw an ad for HelloFresh. I wish I were getting paid to tell you this. Years ago, a coworker, Alex, had me over for a HelloFresh meal and it was delicious. Everything comes in a paper bag—everything. The meat, the vegetables, the ingredients. Everything. I just hadda own salt, pepper, oil, butter. And the only reason I currently own all of those is pandemic.

Each bag comes with directions WITH PICTURES. Like Denny’s, but with cooking.

I ordered it the other week because to entice me they offered free delivery. Each bag is a meal for two, and since I’m completely alone, Miss Lonelyhearts, I get two meals for every “one” they send. I thought I’d just get it that one free-delivery week, but I got it and now I’m hooked.

I’ve made beef tenderloin with a demi moore glaze. I’ve roasted potatoes and asparagus and green beans out my ass. Last night I made firecracker meatballs with ginger and scallions I minced—

I minced for real this time!

—over a bed of rice with browned sesame seeds in it.

I made it all myself! It was easy, really!

And oh my god, chicken with cheddar and mashed potatoes is so much better than Bagel Bites! Why didn’t anyone ever TELL me this?

On nights I have my trainer I get everything ready and preheat the oven so that once she and I are done I just have to cook whatever it is for 20 minutes or what have you, which is just as long as it takes to bake fish sticks, so…

Anyway I guess that’s my biggest news and Ima be big as a house, but really, how svelte was I getting living on Hot Pockets?

Nice sandwich.

Thanks, it has pockets.

Talk at you.

Chefly,
June

P.S. And now that I’m cooking I need things. My pots and pans are 22 years old because I got them as wedding gifts. I want those ones that are colored, what are they called? Crucifix? Cruciferous? Anyway they come in pink and also purple and also turquoise and I want them. Also too I need a new cooking sheet as mine is too small. Are there good ones to get? Why must all my new endeavors involve buying shit?

My former fish friend

Thursday is trash day.

That’s all. Thanks, everybody. Goodnight! God bless you! [Sonny and Cher end-of-show theme song begins.]

No.

Thursday is trash day, a thing an app reminds me of via text and thank God, because I’d forget every week otherwise. Anyway, when I bring in the trash or roll it on out there, when I roll out the barrel,

Thanks, everybody! God bless you; good night! [And the beat goes on…]

I really need to get over referencing the end of the Sonny and Cher show.

SO THURSDAY IS TRASH DAY, and no matter which way I’m rolling the barrel, Milhous likes to get on the can and ride with me across the yard. If there were another person actually here and I weren’t the unibomber with my alone time, I’d get that person to photograph it for you because it’s charming. He rides on top of the trash can and also too the recycle bin like he’s Homecoming King of this fine what-meth neighborhood.

Actually, rumor has it it’s heroin. The drug house near me. Heroin, not meth. I don’t know the difference. Hit me with your meth shot. I don’t know.

Speaking of another person living here, I spoke for awhile with my friend back in LA, Beige. Beige and her husband Robe lived walking distance from us—they were Marvin’s friends and then they became my friends as well. The very last phone call I made in LA was to Robe and Beige, as they had had our going-away party and I called from our empty house the next morning to thank them. I had an involved talk with Robe about poop euphemisms and I remember giggling endlessly at his “Chanel No. 2.”

Then we left and nothing was ever the same again.

Life is weird.

Anyway, I spoke with Beige this weekend, and I seem to be digressing a lot today, and she reminded me that when I’d have coffee in the morning, I’d just hold out my cup and Marvin, who abhorred coffee, would run over and take my cup and refill it.

We’re divorced now.

Why didn’t he bash me in the head with my cup?

I also spoke with cheery Marvin this weekend, of the coffee-retriever Marvins, who said, “Eventually, everyone will get coronavirus.” And that’s when I remembered why we’re divorced. His cheery personality.

It’s a very foggy morning here in JuneTown, and yes, I am delusional enough to call it JuneTown. The fog is low and rolling down my street and it’s very novel. Like this coronavirus. Thanks, Marvin. Have you met my anxiety, Marvin? Yeesch.

I have copy editing out my ass today, which will be interesting for trying to read it. I spent most of the afternoon yesterday copy editing so today would be less intense, but still. Out my ass.

Since I knew I had to work Sunday, and because it’s been awhile since I’ve gone anywhere—you know, like four months—I decided to go out a bit Saturday. Rub up against other people. Walk around the cough ward.

What I did was make myself a list, a treasure hunt, if you will. I wrote down whatever came into my head to go out and look for and then I drove around till I found said things.

Pandemics and life are weird.

First on my list? A purple door.

Okay, why did I set myself up for such a tall order? I found a pink door, which by the way I like. Why do people cut down all their trees and have a screamingly bright unshaded front yard? I’ve never understood that.

I really drove around all over yonder for quite awhile.

I finally found one, over here at B’s house, and then I rememebred.

Ohmygod, my old house. **I** have a purple door. And this is why I divorced myself. Also, putting this picture up for you just now, I just noted she put on a new roof! The roof used to be green, which was part of my years-long obsession about what color to paint the door.

It’s funny how quickly I detach from this house. During my year abroad, I was surprised at how much I didn’t think about it even though I still owned it. Then I moved back into it and got attached to it again, and felt sad when I moved, and now I drive past it and feel mostly detached again.

I lived there for 10 years. Minus one year abroad. And I’m all, eh. And I loved that house. I made every room just exactly how I wanted it. Of course that’s all I think about here: changing each room so it’s exactly how I want it. I also think about coronavirus. Did you know experts like Marvin say we will all get it?

Back to my treasure hunt.

I had to put gas in my car for the first time since February and heartily resented it. All I ever do is gas up this auto, I thought, my gas cap wishing me a happy Valentine’s Day.

Then I looked for a fish. Don’t even ask me what cockamamie list I made for myself. It was absurd.

Oh, I drove all over everywhere. Back in Seattle, across the street from one of my apartments was this seafood supplier, and they had a giant fish out front with this fish mouth that would move up and down. I had a balcony, and I’d stand outside after work and imagine that fish was saying, “Hel-lo Juuuune. How was your daaaaaay?”

Maybe be would have been quicker to drive to Seattle and look for my former fish friend there.

But here’s the thing. I rounded a corner and a man was fishing on a little lake. He had a big bucket with him, and I know there were fish in there. But it would have involved me pulling onto the grass and coming at him with my phone and he was a man of color and I did not for one minute want him to think I was one of those white people coming at him to call the police on him for ridiculous reasons. “Do you have a license to fish here?” I didn’t want to interrupt even one moment of his peace right then.

So here’s yer fish picture.

I also set out to find a dog, and you couldn’t find a dog Saturday if your life depended on it. Oh my god. There were no dogs anywhere, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. I didn’t have my dog because he didn’t wanna come along. His hips are bothering him something fierce. Poor declining Eds. He’s only 9! Okay, he’ll be 10 in less than a month, but 10 isn’t that old!

I was at a red light, and this woman was turning onto my street, not that I own the street. June Street, right in the midst of JuneTown. Anyway, this giant huge sheepdog was curled around the top of her from the back seat and I laughed and right then I realized I’d seen a dog. “Just because you didn’t photograph it doesn’t mean you didn’t see it, June,” I told myself, turning off June Avenue onto the June Plaza to look at the June statue of myself.

Also too, my list had “a field of flowers,” not realizing it’s June, a month named for me, and also a month that’s hot and not that flowery here.

Mostly in June you see a lot of this. Not in me, personally, but in the month named for me.

But look! I found these! What are these? Are they heroin flowers? Cause I coulda brought them home and fit right in. I guess poppies are heroin flowers, aren’t they? Anyway, flowers in a field, which isn’t quite a field of flowers, but still.

Finally I set out to find something pandemic-related. Light, breezy, fun. Those are my monikers.

So that was my treasure hunt, and I also got up all my nerve and went to an outdoor market to get strawberries, because this time of year I’m usually living on them and ooooo! Look how cute that bird bath is up there in my COVID shot! I just noticed it.

The ADD is strong today. And I have copy editing out my ass. How will June’s day go? Let’s watch.

Distractedly,
June

The one where June’s friends do better

As you know, I have friends named Chris and Lilly, whom I met through this blog. I met them back before I was guarded about people I meet here. I’m sorry, but sometimes it gets weird here, y’all.

Anyway, it was back when I wasn’t guarded, circa 2011. I was newly separated, and perhaps open to new experiences, and they wrote me. “We live nearby and love your blog. We have a place in the country. If you aren’t scared to do so, come by because we have baby chicks.”

I was there before they even pressed Send. And honest to god, that is how we became friends, which if you think about it is dangerous. The whole thing is sort of weird, but we had no awkwardness for even a moment and they failed to kill me even though we were way out in the country and there were a million places to dispose of me.

So anyway they’re out there living my life, the life I’d have if I knew how to, for example, raise baby chicks. They now own two stores—a nursery and a feed store—and they have two kids who are wholesome-looking.

Many decades ago I had this coworker “friend” who turned out to be kind of a dink. But at the time I enjoyed her company and hung around her a lot. She was befreckled and wide-eyed and pretty and had straight hair. I had this artist boyfriend who was hot, and I always felt insecure around him because frankly he was better-looking than I was.

“Don’t you find my friend Dink to be really beautiful?” I asked insecurely. That was before I knew about anxious attachment.

“No,” he said, “not really. She looks too wholesome, like she should always be carrying a lamb and drinking a glass of milk.”

Too wholesome. Like I was Nancy Spungen, over there.

Anyway, Chris and Lilly’s kids look wholesome and for all I know they’ve literally held lambs and they certainly drink milk. They know way more about horses than I do and they are only somewhere between 2 and 15.

My point is this: The other day Lilly texted me. She was at work and heard some rustling in some hay. Or straw. Is there a difference? When I go to work, back when I went to work, I never encountered hay.

Or straw.

She went to investigate, and right there is the difference between Lilly and me. Well. That and she once got a pony for Christmas. I’d have run screaming for the hills had I heard RUSTLING in my work hay. My first instinct would be snake. Snake with an attitude. Nancy Spungen I am not.

But Lilly is no-nonsense, part of my no-nonsense friends collection. Collect all three!

She went over there and immediately texted me, because

it was a mom cat and three kittens.

KITTENS!!!

She and Chris kept me apprised, and it took many days of humane traps and photos of angry mom cat looking like she wanted to speak to the manager. She is straight-up feral and did not appreciate any of this.

Chris and Lilly just lost one of their barn cats, who was like 109, so I know they planned to keep one of the cats. The mom just never warmed up, so they gave her to a nearby shelter that deals with ferals and finds barn homes for them after they’ve been rehabilitated and learned the 12 steps or something.

“What about the kittens? Did they ever calm down?” I asked, riveted to any situation that involves cat things.

This was my answer.

Goddammit. Is that a …?

COME ON! That’s a Siamese kitten! How did they go out to their work hay and find

A

SIAMESE

STRAY

KITTEN?

Even the black one, your run-of-the-mill black kitten, is spectacular. Look how pretty its COAT is.

They finally caught the third one and it too is black and I really don’t know what will happen next, except they’ve named two of them (Midge Maisel and Betty Draper).

Also, Corona schmorona. I am dying to go meet them and possibly slip a Siamese into my purse when I go.

Enviously,
June

Billy Joe McAllister called. Said glub, glub, glub.

I don’t even know how many years it’s been now, but I’m going to say circa 2014. Back when my boss, fmr., and I sat next to each other. I don’t know who decided THAT was a good idea, although I know it seems to make sense that a supervisor would sit next to his, you know, staff.

But my boss, fmr., has the ADD, and I have the ADD, and the problem with two people with the ADD is they can, you know, lose focus. And that is why some days my boss, fmr., and I would get off on a tangent that would last 32 hours. There was another copy editor at work at the time, called The Other Copy Editor, who did NOT have the ADD. She also sat right next to us, and she lasted there about a year.

Yeah.

My point is, one day I got on the pressing topic of the very old song Ode to Billy Joe. As you do.

For no discernible reason, my boss insisted they weren’t throwing a baby off the bridge in that song.

Everybody knows they threw a baby off the bridge in that song.

This devolved into an 8-hour argument between boss, fmr., and me, while The Other Copy Editor surreptitiously perused jobs on Glassdoor.

Can you look for jobs on Glassdoor? Whatever.

I told this story to you at the time, and we spent all day talking about this ridiculous song, and punctuating every thought with, “Pass the biscuits, please” and since then June 3rd’s become the Official Holiday of Book of June®.

And that’s why I mention it. Hi.

Other than that, hey, country, how’s your country? Geez. Things are … why are things so bad? We ought to just throw ourselves off the Tallahatchee Briiiiidge.

Speaking of which, there is a blogger who is way famouser than me, seeing as I am not famous at all. But she is, at least in blog world, and she seems to be passing through a crisis. I saw that in a movie once. One of the characters said, “I am passing through a crisis” and then she dabbed perfume on her temples. She was French so she got away with it.

It’s concerning. She seems to be doing not well at all. And what I keep hearing is, “She’s just doing it for the attention.”

Let’s discuss.

I enjoy attention. I find it exhilarating. Attention is my bag.

I remember back when I was single [Dear June: You are still single.] I remember back when I was first single, I dated this guy for just a few months. I featured him here a few times. Once he was at a store and someone recognized him. This was when I had probably twice the readers I do now, so it was more likely. Now I could be dating George Jetson and no one would take notice.

I like how my exciting celebrity example is George Jetson.

Anyway, he called me and told me being recognized was “intoxicating.” That was right about when I stopped liking him, but the POINT is it happens. At least it does for me. And my date, fmr.

Speaking in front of a group is like a high for me. I like it.

I have all the qualities people don’t like. A love of attention, a flair for drama, a quick temper. Hey, I’m still single! Why?

But I’m saying this because as someone who loves attention, I don’t get why saying you’re depressed or suicidal is dismissed as wanting attention. I’m trying to put myself in her place and it seems to me if you felt that way you’d feel extremely desperate. Like, you’d feel at the end of your rope and at the same time not wanting to feel that way. So wouldn’t you, you know, tell people in hopes you could get relief?

Anyway that’s how I see it. I seem to notice people get angry and dismissive when other people are passing through a crisis [dabs perfume]. Is it because they have never felt that way? Or because they kept it to themselves when they did and don’t see why everyone doesn’t do that? What’s the anger? Is it fear that it will happen to them?

Why do people sit around the lunch table and dismiss suicide and someone not having a lick of sense? Pass the biscuits, please.

Girl, what’s happened to your appetite?
June

June lays down a rule

I do not delude myself that anyone cares what I think. But you do have to care about my new rule.

If you’ve read me awhile, you know that one thing I try very hard to do is allow both sides of an opinion. I’ve had a few blog posts over the years where I say, “Today we’re going to say something nice about the other side. If you cloak your praise in sarcasm or backhanded compliments I will delete you.”

I deleted a sweet 90-year-old woman because she could not say one nice thing about the other side. And by the way, her other side was my other side.

People digging in and being convinced they’re right is my least-favorite thing and in my opinion the cause of all strife in the world. As a liberal, I know that every single thing I think may not be right. If you’re conservative, please know that I know you are right sometimes.

I do this exercise with myself and oh, it’s painful.

I read other opinions. Measured ones. The latest example is that I went to reputable breeder websites. Yes, I just called them reputable. I did it while we’ve been locked down. I looked at breeders, dog breeders, cat breeders. As someone who not only volunteers for the shelter and who just goes to the shelter in her off time for yucks, breeders are … not my cup of tea.

But what I do is ask myself, “Am I wrong? Could any of what I think be wrong?” and then I go look at the opposing side and get mad and sweaty and my heart races but keep looking anyway. It’s important to me.

Adopt don’t shop is something I dearly believe. But maybe my opinion is wrong. It’s true. It might be.

I tell you this because it’s how I usually think. It’s hard, and I get very angry, but I know the basis of all anger is fear. Fear that I might be wrong. Fear that I might be right and unable to change things.

So, really. I try to see both sides.

The last thing I’m going to do is be the condescending white savior lady and link you to sites where you might read things about racism to change your mind. If you’re a, “But all lives matter!” person you already don’t think you’re the problem and you won’t click any links. I know this.

So the only thing I can do is say this: I know George Floyd did not deserve to die. And while I have always welcomed all opinions, there will be no “All lives matter” comments here. There will also be no, “But why did they…?” Nope. Go tell it somewhere else. I won’t have it here.

That’s the first time I’ve not allowed other viewpoints—as far as I can recall, anyway—in 13 and a half years.

That said, my beloved downtown is hurt. Kit’s shop survived it, and she boarded her windows for now. She also said numerous times on her social media channels that the people destroying stores downtown were not black protestors.

That’s all I gotta say about that.

In other news, and is there actually any other news? Oh, right, we’re having a pandemic. That pesky thing.

At some point last week, the Fiat dealership called. They sold my teensy baby blue car, which will always be my favorite car ever, and they wondered if I had the spare key. I did! So I got my mask that best matched what I had on and drove down there.

Look how dusty everything looks. God. The camera adds 10 pounds. Of fur.

Anyway, the irony is the location of the dealership is the same street that my accident was on, so I had to screw up my courage, put on what was apparently a cat-fur-covered dress and head out into a pandemic and also Danger Street.

So that was relaxing. But I made myself do it, because the longer I’m in here scared the harder it’s gonna be. And I had been getting less scared of a car screaming into the back of me and then all this crap happened and it reared its head again. Reared its rear end again.

My most consistent relationship has been with anxiety.

Anyway, I headed over there, and both my yellow MINI Cooper and my baby blue Fiat are sold, and someone is going around driving MY cars. I bemasked myself and headed inside, and there were all the car dealers just unmasked as the day they were born, unless they were born to Zorro or what have you.

Really?

So I stood 87 feet from the dealer. My six feet is everyone else’s 87 feet. The dealer remembered me, since I’ve bought, you know, TWO cars from there in a year. Once I had a box of newborn kittens with me when I went in there to get the title or license plate or something, cause I was coming to or from the shelter on that same street. So I sort of stand out at that dealership.

As if being the yahoo who bought two cars in one year doesn’t make me stand out enough.

Anyway.

Since I was already out and about, I decided to go to work. I know! Festive.

I drove all around the building, and my nine years of memories there came flooding back. Here’s where the farmer puts up his stand on Fridays and sells me my strawberries, which I dearly miss.

Here’s the tree where Austin and I tried to save Squirrelly Maclaine.

There’s the entry to the park, where we take our 3 o’clock walks.

I even went inside, where I see people have added to the collection of solar figurines.

My desk calendar is still on February. There were signs up about distancing and washing your hands, left over from when people were still going to work but we knew the plague was upon us. I noted with some glee that no one stole the hand sanitizer on my desk. Good job, coworkers! I’d totally have stolen my hand sanitizer.

I took it with me, along with the Frida Kahlo nail polish my coworker Jane West gave me, so I can do my own pedicure. SIY. Screw it up yourself.

I took a fine, sharp shot of that polish. I used the June Gardens 2010 Photography Seminar Commemorative Camera. And yes, I do have a framed photo of myself that reads, “Her Royal Cuteness.” It was a gift from TinaDoris before she left. Plus also I just liked framed photos of m’self.

Anyway, it was nice to get out and about, and it’s a sad day when your out and about is going to an auto dealership and walking around your empty office. Now I gotta wait two weeks to see if either outing killed me.

That’s all I do now, wait two weeks to die of outings or visitations.

I’d better head to work, and by “head to work” I mean turn on my work email whilst I stay exactly where I am. I did buy one of those beanbag-bottomed desktops to hold my laptop and phone and I’m the very height of work-at-home sophistication now.

Elegantly, as elegance is learned, my friend,
June

Mmmm, salt!

Do you think the cats recognize Edsel as a different species, or do they think he’s just Favorite Cat, who gets treats after he does tricks and gets to sleep in the room with me while they’re relegated to the chairs, couches, three cat beds or the unused condo all night?

In unrelated news, today marks 100 days that I’ve been home. It must be nice to watch my mental decline.

Yesterday I had to drive through the pharmacy window. Not literally. That might have made the news before I got here. I mean I drove to the drive-up window to, as Mick Jagger would say, get my prescription filled.

When my pharmacy tech, who was wearing his mask wrong (nose out) (points at germs>>those out), went to retrieve my pills, my dolls, I stared longingly past his station to the store itself. When was the last time I was physically in there? More than 100 days ago, that’s for sure. I dearly wanted to just wander the aisles of CVS, which is really sad.

When I lived in TinyTown, I remember one of the women—and they were all so lovely and sort of highfalutin’ Southern women—telling me she spent one whole afternoon just wandering the aisles of the drug store, just looking at everything to pass the time. And I thought, “That is the most depressing story I’ve ever heard.”

Now I’d LOVE to do that.

Anyway.

As I type this, I notice how bothered I am by my hand soap. My mother loaded me up with not one but TWO backups of liquid soap for the bathroom sink when she was here, a thing I never do. I don’t buy backups. I don’t have backup singers and I don’t have backup products. Although I could really use a good couple of backup singers just to prove my point sometimes.

{she’s home} {wooo wooo!}

Anyway she got me two Soft Soaps in some unoffensive scent, and I’ve used up one of them because who washes her hands 47 times a day like a surgeon?

{cleaning her hands. wooo wooo!}

I like how my backup singers have automatically become Pips instead of like some rapper saying, “Yeah” all the time.

I was perusing the online shopping the other day for more hand sanitizer, and you could EAT off my hands at this point. You know you you can go into those petting zoos and pay extra for the little cones of pellets for the goats or what have you? Right now those goats would not think twice, behind their slitty eyes and into their slitty goat brains, about if my hands were clean.

Get pellets from cleen la-a-a-a-a-deeeee.

{Oh, she’s goat speakin’}

{wooo wooo!}

{yeah yeah}

Anyway in order to justify the shipping costs from Bed Bag and Behind, as Faithful Reader Paula calls it and apparently I’m obsessed with her this week, I also ordered liquid soap even though I already have a backup, and see above. See riveting above.

I was so excited to try out my new scents from Bed Bag and Behind, so once the first Soft Soap was used up, instead of getting the next Soft Soap, I went rogue and got the Sea Salt and Lime in my cupboard.

I’ve been home 100 days.

My tiles look perfectly clean in real life, and when I take a photo of my potato-chip-flavored soap they look disgusting.

Anyway why do I keep thinking “salt” is going to be a scent I’ll like? Mmmmm, salt! That’ll smell delicious! Lemme go sniff m’Morton’s in anticipation.

Actually, it’s not the salt that’s bothering me; it’s the lime. It’s so limey. So now whenever I wash my hands and then after I’m off doing something (at home), I’ll be all, What smells cab driver?

…I want you to know I just got up and Scrubbing Bubbled those tiles. Bothered me.

I really don’t have much else to tell you, because I get up at home, go to the living room or den and work at home, work out at home, eat at home and then go to bed at, yes, home. It doesn’t make for riveting blog fodder. Pandemics: They attack your blog.

Homily,
June

June quickly recaps her weekend of fun, frolic and tons of crowds

It always makes Faithful Reader Paula uncomfortable when I say anything like this, but it’s 7:52 and my goal today is to write this post and shower before 8:30, as that is my work start time and it’s funny but now that my commute involves opening a laptop, I’m “at work” on time a lot more often lately.

My, that was a concise sentence. I’m a regular Hemingway.

The reason it makes FR Paula nervous is she’s what you might call a tense New Yorker and my having any time constraints makes her read fast so I’m not late. She realizes this is insane but can’t help herself. I know way too much about the inner workings of many of you, who I wouldn’t actually recognize on any street if you banged into me, which is rude because six feet, ya dunces.

Anyway, here I am, recapping my “holiday weekend,” which involved me being in this house, so.

Ima look at the pictures on my phone to see if there’s anything worth telling you.

This is the first time in my life I’ve gotten a violet to bloom. Usually I get a violet filled with pretty flowers, watch the blossoms curl up one by one, then have a plant with green leaves for years. However, I asked all y’all what I should do and someone said, “Feed it” and lo and behold it works. I’ve been whipping up pork chops for it.

I ordered and received a new phone case. Before this I had a combination wallet/phone case but it turns out I hate having a combination wallet/phone case. For many reasons. All of them boring. So I got this case on Etsy for like $13 and I am quite pleased with it. Have you ever thought about how many phone cases you’ve had in your lifetime or do you not change them out on a whim the way I do?

I remember taking my flip phone to the mall to have it bedazzled with pink gems in an Eiffel Tower shape. I also had an antenna decoration that was Hello Kitty inside a sushi roll. I forget why.

Paula, it’s 8:01. Going through my photos and uploading them always takes more time than just straight-out writing. I know you’re over there being a cat on a hot tin type or whatever.

Edsel the Pretzel and I finally got bored with our 90+ days of being home trying to avoid that pesky pandemic, so on Saturday, I think it was, we got in the car and took an aimless drive to the country. It was lovely and we saw many pretty country houses and country fields and country mice and country crocks. Eventually we saw a sign for a state park, so we got out and walked on a trail for a bit.

There were multiple signs about keeping your dog leashed, so I wasn’t too worried. Just as we got back in the car, this dude, a hippie-looking dude, came out of nowhere with his golden retriever off leash. Edsel didn’t even see the dog till we were pulling away, and then he got out his Hitler voice. Good lord his bark is loud. I really wanted to roll down my window and Karen the guy but instead I waved and smiled cause it’s the South.

Leash your goddamn dogs. Your dog may be great. He also might get his “good” ass kicked if he wanders over to a dog following the rules on a leash. Jesus.

People are so fekking entitled.

Speaking of which, did you see that woman in Central Park yesterday? Not you, Paula, who lives in New York and is currently nervously reading me at the speed of sound. Everyone in general.

This Harvard-educated birdwatcher, who also happens to be a man of color, was in a part of Central Park that is for bird-watching. It has some amazing number of species there, and, whatever, birds are for eating, says the cat-lover. Anyway, you can’t have your dogs off leash there. This woman had her cocker spaniel off leash, of course, because the world is apparently hers for the taking, and he asked her to leash it as the dog was tearing through this bird area. She said no and they got into an argument.

Not only did the woman say, “I’m going to call the police and say an African American man is threatening me” and then proceed to put on a hysterical voice for the police, she also continued to not leash her dog and in her haste to call the police on this man, was choking her dog and not noticing it.

Just Google Amy Cooper Central Park. I can’t watch that video again for numerous reasons.

Anyway since then her life has gone to shit. They took her dog away, she’s been put on leave at work. But that man just has to wait for the next time something like this happens.

So I spent a lot of yesterday being pissed off about that.

And finally, to wrap up my festive Memorial Day plans, I still can’t get the dang deadbolt off my door, which isn’t that big of a deal except I have a black doorknob and a gold deadbolt and no one should have to live that way. Let me go outside maskless and walk my dog off leash and ponder the unfairness.

Anyway, yesterday morning I texted 5 men I know to ask their advice, one of them being Hulk who immediately left the conversation then texted me, resulting in exactly what I didn’t want: multiple text conversations.

The point is, Austin, my coworker, crnt., came by yesterday and tried to get that dang thing off.

He was unable to, and felt unmanly as a result, and I assured him it was not him. None of us are manly enough to get that feck feck fecking lock off my door.

What is cute is that as ridiculous as my neighborhood is, my next-door neighbor came out to see if I was okay, seeing as a masked man was messing with my door and all. I sort of love how everyone watches what everyone is doing. Mostly because I’m never doing anything controversial. We’ll see how I like it when I start laundering money.

Paula, I’m sorry to tell you that it is 8:39 now and I not only didn’t get to shower, I am “late” for work. I made the mistake of opening work email in the midst of typing this, and I had 14 messages and one of them already stuck in my craw. Ima take my dog outside without his leash so we can walk about the neighborhood and stew.

Doesn’t stew sound delicious?

Time managemently,
June

June’s friends carry on, those wayward sons.

Do you know what I think I need?

I mean, need is a strong term.

But I could use one of those trays that you put your laptop on. Because at the moment, I just literally put my laptop on my, you know, lap, and it’s wobbly and annoying all day long.

Also? I need a longer cord. I have to either use my laptop comfortably (yet wobbily) for 15 minutes and watch all the power drain out or position myself so I’m six inches from the wall and it’s plugged in. That’s fun. I’m like an appliance all day.

Who even knew any of this was going to be an issue?

Anyway how is everyone? Is today terrifically different from other days? Is there anyone out there who has changed pretty much nothing, you’ve gone to work every day and haven’t locked down at all? I’d be riveted by your story.

My most exciting news is the other day I washed my hair, and when I got out of the shower I thought, why am I putting gel on my hair? No one’s gonna see me, and this gel is expensive. It really is. I get big tubs of it and it’s like $35.

So I let it go. I never watched Frozen—why would I?—but I know people are forever saying that re Frozen. So I let it thaw. And now I look like Moses. I’m not even gonna show you a picture, that’s how bad it is. My hair is gigantic. Remember that meme everyone sent me awhile back about how you can’t control everything?

I just stole this offa someone’s Pinterest.

You know what annoys me? Other than everything. When you’re trying to look something up and 9 times out of 10 it leads you to Pinterest and you have to be a member and it irks. Don’t tell me, “Oh, I have your answer here!” then “PSYCH!”

I also hate that my phone guides me to news stories and then, “Sorryyyyyyyy. You have to be a subscriber to see.” THEN DON’T TELL ME THAT STORY EXISTS. I will never, ever, I don’t care if it’s Barry Gibb’s sex tape, never subscribe after that’s done to me.

Also too, Wayfair. “Oh, here’s a pretty thing! Click on it!”

“SORRYYYYY. You can only look if you enter an email address.”

You, Wayfair, are an asshole. Is it Wayfare or Wayfair? Either way it’s way unfair.

You’re welcome.

I guess I’m spending a lot of time perusing the internet these days.

Since my life is boring, lemme fill you in on some of my friends.

Remember my friend Jo? Back in, I don’t know, 2011? She sent me her book, after she somehow found my blog. “We’re kindred spirits,” she wrote. It took me ages to ever read it, and then I did and said, “We’re kindred spirits.”

I would never utter a thought that included kindred or spirits in it, and I realize you don’t utter thoughts, but I thought something like, Hey, I like her. Anyway, she and I started hanging out, and she’d have these things every month called BookUps, which I wish still existed, where each month people would meet at a different bar or restaurant and just read. It was her way of scheduling it for people who say, “I don’t have time to read.”

Here she is at a BookUp in early 2012. Those were so great. As was that coat, that she got at Kit’s store.

Anyway, the point is, when I met her she was seriously single and she stayed that way for years, but last week she got married!

She didn’t give me permission to show her wedding picture. I mean, she didn’t say, “No, you can’t use my wedding picture, you wretched hag,” but I didn’t ask her and feel weird about posting it. But she wore all red! And her witnesses stood 6 feet away. It’s so exciting!

The other friend news is that Lilly, of the person Lilly and not my cat Lily, texted me the other day. She owns a feed and garden store, and in the back, in a truckload of … I think she said hay? She found a mom cat and two teensy kittens!!!

!!!!!

“You know I’m gonna have to break quarantine,” I said, COVID be damned. Co-VID yourself. As soon as she can actually touch the kittens she’s gonna let me know and I will STAMPEDE over there, and I guess it’s not surprising that the thing that will get me out of this house, finally, will involve a baby animal of some sort.

So life is continuing on out there in the world, and I’m Miss Havishaming it in here. I’m missing Havisham. I’m missing ham.

If you’re still staying in, what do you think is the first thing you’ll go do once you’ve released the hounds and headed outside?

Indoorsily,
June

P.S. I think I figured out why I have a sort throat every day. GERD. I have the GERD and I’ll bet that’s it. I won’t make any life changes to get rid of it, don’t be silly, but I’m willing to medicate myself to kingdom come.

Herdy GERDily,
June

P.P.S. I forgot to tell you that other than the pajamas I have on currently? I am completely 100% caught up on laundry. Isolation. It has perks!

Tideily,
June

P.P.P.peepeepeepee S. Jo just sent me a wedding photo!