First of all, last night the stupid gaybors had a bonfire. At least I think it was those two, because something was flaming.
I'm so no longer Team Gaybors. The other night, I was in the yard, late, as I am now wont to do, and Edsel went to their fenceline to stare at them. Pick up some gay tips and so on. The gaybors had people over. "Look, there's a dog!" some visitor said. Some visitor, who'd have probably been a lot nicer about a neighbor who took a gift basket over to welcome her to HER neighborhood.
"That's The Easter Dog," I heard one of the gaybors say. "He's got ears like a rabbit, so we call him The Easter Dog."
Hmph. Easter Dog. I never.
I just want you to know I'm sweeping that damn floor EVERY DAY. Lottie likes to bring in sticks.
Oh my god, anyway. So last night, while we were sleeping in this house of hair, the gaybors were having a bonfire and doesn't anyone WORK in this neighborhood? Apparently, just enough smoke wafted into my house that
It made my smoke alarm beep. Not GO OFF, per se, just beep a few times and then beep a few times after I'd drifted back to sleep. And it wasn't the "battery's dead" sound. Miss Finger on the Comment Button of Smugness.
I checked that the house wasn't actually aflame, then I went outside to see if I could, in fact, smell a bonfire (I could), and then I shut the one window I had open and turned on the fan. Then, since I'd been up, I had to pee.
And that is when I found Edsel squeezed behind the toilet.
Poor Edsel. Back in the day, if he was scared, he'd just burrow under Lu. "Edsel, honey, it's okay," I said, comforting the dog while I peed, because multitasker. And because convenient, given his squished status. We went back to bed, where Lottie had remained unmoving, and he pressed his head into my neck for the rest of the night, which was super comfy.
The reason Lottie didn't even care about the alarm is because, a, fearless asshole and 2, this happened:
Look at all the DAMN DOG PRINTS on that coffee table. I hate everything. Anyway, the little girl who owns Ava popped over with her uncle, and with Ava. "We thought the puppies should have a play date!" she said, and her whole life she's probably had to have stupid play dates rather than just go outside and see if Barbie Riley is hanging anywhere, which is the correct way to play.
I thought this was a marvelous idea, and put Ol' Fang in the bedroom, and off we went.
I feel like Ava's dress does not say, Let's get ready to rumble, but who am I to judge?
The uncle of the little girl seemed...alarmed...at Lottie's...intensity. He kept pulling Ava away, but I could tell Ava was having the time of her life. Every time he picked her up, she'd scramble her tiny feet to get back down.
They stayed maybe 10 minutes when the uncle said they'd better go. "Noooo!" said the little girl. "They're having so much fun! I wanna stay!" I told him that if he felt comfortable, I'd walk her home at 7:30. It was 7:10. He said okay, and that is when I got a mop and a broom and set that child to work.
We let the dogs play for awhile and talked about their personalities. "I know why Ava bites when she plays," said the girl. "She tells me. I talk to squirrels, too, and they listen. I think we're all alike. I mean, humans are animals (I used to say that CONSTANTLY when I was a kid), and if we try, we can all talk to animals." She pushed back her giant mound of curls.
"Of course, my brother just thinks I'm a psychopath, but whatever."
And that is when I knew. She was my people.
I offered her some water. "Sure," she said, "but do you also have any snacks? I don't mean to come over and ask for food but..."
God, did she tap the wrong house. I scrounged up some granola and some diet cream soda I've been trying to get rid of for ages. "Oh, wow, diet cream soda!? I love diet cream soda!"
"Can we watch TV?" she asked, slinging herself across my green chair.
She was appalled that I didn't know what channel SpongeBob was on.
Eventually, 7:30 got there, and at that point I felt like Ava needed a cocktail anyway. We put Ava's sparkly leash on her and strolled to their house. "What's your name, anyway?" I asked.
She told me, and it was something unusual. I tried to repeat it back to her and I got it wrong. We walked a minute quietly.
"I remember telling you my name last time," she said.
"Well, I'm SORRY," I told her. "I forget things. I'm turning into my grandmother."
"Well, it's good to turn into the people we love," she said. This kid was like a small, big-haired philosopher. And I still don't know her damn name. We'll call her Joan. The polar opposite of an unusual name.
June. Driving all the readers named Joan away, since 2016. June, having a name that's worlds different from "Joan," since 2006.
I gotta go,