Terrible Lizards

June, huh? I've gotten to wear shorts, wanted to wear shorts, for the first time since 2009 or 10. On Facebook, my grandmother asked me where the pounds went. Come home and she'll feed me. She's in the country with the rest of my family at the big reunion. They've found a lake closer to the ancestral home. I made the call. Sorry I can't be there, but. One of my cousins jokingly accused me of faking my online presence. "That's not what you look like." Well, that's what I look like now.

I haven't seen my family in the flesh in a while. That's too bad. I'll see my mother and brother in Seattle next week. The last time I saw them was a funeral. Then my car lost the last of its lives. I decided not to replace it. I live an almost moneyless existence. Someone at Josh's work paid me for pies, and Josh told her to make the check out to him because he didn't think I had a checking account. I do. Still, there's so little money in it I understand his confusion.

But we like our life. It's exactly the life we want right now. I know my family worries. Maybe it's because I approach 30 and my list of accomplishments is short but pleasant. I wrote a book. It was published. I'm writing another book. I keep a house up. I bake a pie that turns a party prayerful. I've raised a snake from a snip of string to a garden hose. I'm as good as married and have been for nine years. In short, I'm happy. I'm content.

There's a tree out front with white flowers, and when the summer heats up, the flowers fall dead on the lawn. That charms me. It feels very Japanese to see our lawn that way. But only for a day. Then the flowers turn brown and come in on our shoes. Our floors are dotted. Spiders. The flowers look like flattened spiders. I'm fooled every time. This isn't Australia. The spiders don't get that big here. I've never peeled up a dead spider like it was a wet scab. These flowers, though. They stick.

I take it back about the spiders. There are tarantulas. I mean, not in Kansas City, but in America. So we've got big spiders, too. I heard there are some that eat birds. I wonder if they find poultry as disappointing as I do. For one, I will never understand turkey. I guess it feeds a crowd, and that's why it's an enduring tradition. There are wild turkeys near the airport. From a distance they always scare me into thinking they're something else. Dinosaurs, if I'm honest. We know now that dinosaurs and birds are more or less the same animal just at different times. The ostrich, above all others, is dangerous and efficient. A single kick and you're dead. Lots of organisms naturally work that way. But we had to invent the gun and justify its lasting presence by giving it fetish reverence. I doubt a rattlesnake gets dreamy about its own venom. There's no telling, though. I'm not a rattlesnake.

A friend is here for another month. She's been here before and will be here again. Our house can handle it. The library alone could trap a person. We added more shelves this week. There is now a wall of books separating the dining room and the living room. Formidable. I get the feeling I'm eating dinner in a used bookstore. In fact, some of these books still have price stickers on them. A few of them are wrapped in plastic, our own version of keeping the furniture pristine.

Josh is a good literary steward. There's an angel in a comic I'm reading, and his pet project is to collect all the written word of humankind. I sometimes wonder if that's the endgame here. Josh has admitted his ideal superpower would be immortality. All the time in the universe.

I have stuff HERE and HERE.

On the way home from the grocery yesterday, an older man and woman passed us. The woman said, "What time's the party?" The man looked over into our grocery bags. "Those are just groceries," he said. "Nothing fun."