I saw the Snowflake children.
If you're a longtime reader of this blog, and really? You poor thing. Has your family told you you can't mention me anymore? Anyway, if you are, you'll remember three very loud, very blonde children in my neighborhood who were forever playing outside like it's 1969, whom the dogs and I would run into on the regular.
"HI, ETHEL! HI, LALUUULA!" It did not matter how many times I told these kids the dogs' real names, they still called them Ethel and Lalula. I've been avoiding their street because they now have a very loud, very not-blonde dog who seems mean and like he'll jump over the fence one day and kill us dead. But yesterday Ethel and I said fuck it and we walked over there. And as we got closer, there were two of them. Children, not mean dogs.
"Gee, June, why didn't you walk all the way home, get your phone, walk all the way back and take pictures of what're now teenaged children? You won't look like a perv at all. Plus I'm sure you had time."
I didn't. I didn't have time. But one was on the swingset with headphones on, and the other was further back in the yard being teenagery. They didn't even look up while I walked by, even though their dog was having a hootenanny over at the fenceline, barking and growling and calling Acme to order a ladder.
I feel like the excitement of the reunion was one-sided.
The reason I didn't have time to go home and come back and take pervy pictures of teenaged girls is because I was on my way to the movies. There was a documentary on Muhammad Ali playing at the old movie theater; it was about his years as a Muslim and conscientious objector. I mean, he's still a Muslim. You know what I mean.
It was being shown in the part of the theater called "The Crown," meaning the very top, there, smartie, and it holds maybe 30 people up there, and I just knew Ned would be thinking of going, as well. So I called him.
"I'm going to that movie tonight and I just wanted to warn you," I told him in a message. I mean, it wasn't in a bottle or anything. "I'm going alone, so..." I was hoping that if he was going with some hot woman he'd warn me. Or even a schleppish one.
On my drive home from work and to the voting place (I couldn't figure out how to drive there from work other than to go all the way home and drive there from my house. I shouldn't TELL people these things), the phone rang. It was Ned.
I decided to answer the phone all sexy, the way my mother used to. He knew that story. Back when I was a teenager and I sat on swingsets with headphones on, not looking up, my mother was single and ready to mingle. When the phone rang, she'd answer it in this husky voice, and I wish I could imitate it for you.
Oh, wait. I can. We have the technology. ...You ready?
But nine times out of ten it'd be a call for me, and then she'd go ahead and get her normal voice again.
Anyway, I answered the phone that way when Ned called. "Hulooooouuu," I said, all breathy. Ned laughed. "You realize you sound like that woman in Who Ate Roger Rabbit," he said, all matter-of-factly.
Who Ate Roger Rabbit.
"It's not called Who Ate Roger Rabbit, Ned," I told him, and he realized that was true. The point is, we met in front of the theater and walked up to The Crown together. We took the steps, and at the second floor I started heading for the door. "It's not on the second floor, June. It's called The Crown because it's on top. 'Join us at The Crown, in the middle of the theater...'" Ned said, and I'd like to once again say Who Ate Roger Rabbit.
I never actually saw that movie. Because cartoon. Not usually drawn to cartoons.
Anyway, it went without incident. The director was there, and people asked him pressing intellectual questions, and then the evening was over and I went to my car and Ned went to his. "Want to go get a drink somewhere?" he asked me, but I did not. So now I'm back to answering the phone like a husky. Single and ready to mingle.
I kind of miss those heady days of the phone ringing, and you had no idea who it was gonna be, and then it might could be some boy calling who likes you. I remember the first time my high school boyfriend, Cardinal, called me out of the clear blue sky. People always say that. I guess the clear night sky wouldn't be as dramatic. You're always expecting things to fall out of the night sky.
Anyway, my Uncle Leo had been Cardinal's teacher in elementary school, and they'd stayed friends, and sometimes Cardinal would drop over for a visit. He did one night in 10th grade, and my Uncle Leo forced him to look at family slides, and why does anyone drop in on my Uncle Leo? The point is, there were pictures of me, all dressed up in my grandma's clothes, walking my teensy cousin Katie down the street. I'd decided that would be hilarious, and there I was in cat-eye sunglasses and a babushka and gramma shoes, and for some reason Cardinal, who vaguely knew me as someone at school, said, "Break me off a piece of that" and four months later, he did.
Hey, mom. "Hulllouu."
Oh my god, I have to go. Time moves so quickly here.
[sexy voice] Goodbye.