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Tell me that you love me, Junie Moon

That's the title of a book I read in high school. You know, there are a group of books that they make high school students read that seem to fall into the same category: The books that totally creep you out then, and later in life when you remember them. I remember ultimately hating The Yearling, Of Mice And Men, Catcher In The Rye, Lord of the Flies, and I'm blanking on the name of the other book-- the one with the two kids in the prep school, the perfect one and the not-so-perfect one, and the perfect one dies in the end. Argh. The names will come to me later, I'm sure. There was also a Willa Cather short story whose name I have forgotten, but whose result I have not: The kid who was the main character threw himself under a train at the end of the story. Eww.

Liza Minelli played Junie Moon in the movie. Her face didn't look nearly as scarred as it did in my imagination. (Someone threw acid in her face in the novel, I think an ex-boyfriend.)

I'll try not to write any novels that will creep me out. But those are the kind that you remember. Then again, the ones that inspire you remain with you for life as well. To Kill A Mockingbird, Huckleberry Finn, Candide--wonderful novels, all, and nary a creep-out among them.

I was thinking, actually, of June, which is where the Junie Moon quote came from. June first. I like June. It's a good month. It's generally a warm month. It's the beginning of summer. June tends to fill me with hope and good feelings. I remember when I was in high school, I would usually ride my bike to school on June mornings for one reason or another. And that when you walk out the door at 7:30 a.m. and the birds are singing and it's a beautiful late spring morning in June, just breathing in the air makes you feel great to be alive.

Of course, it's raining now, and may well rain through tomorrow, but hey--we've got nearly a whole month of June mornings to go. I can wait.--MAY



Funereal Views

One of the most awful sounds in the world is the sound of freshly-dug earth hitting a wooden coffin. There is just no other sound like it, and no other sound that makes you so certain the person you're saying goodbye to is, indeed, gone.

It's difficult not to picture them lying in the coffin. And I'm not one of those people that needs to see a person's corpse to understand that they're dead. I get it. Honest I do. And if I didn't, all I have to do is remember the last moments of my cousin's funeral, where they opened the coffin after the service was over and we were all leaving, and I inadvertently saw the body. It's been nearly eight years and I still can't get that picture out of my head. Not the way I want to remember her, not at all.

If you ask me, the Jewish funeral gets it just right. The body is generally in the ground within 24 hours, only the family gets to view it (if they want to), and then you spend the next week at the family's home, with the corpse in the ground where it belongs. I find the whole concept of wakes to be ghoulish. I no longer go to them--especially in light of the last non-Jewish funeral I went to. My friend's father was being cremated. I had no idea they were going to have the body in full view, covered only by a shroud up to his chest, in front of the room where they held the service. I made sure I sat behind his relatives, all of whom were over six feet tall, so I wouldn't have to see the body again. I would much rather think of the time Mr. King stuck a forkful of his barbecued chicken in my face, refusing to withdraw it until I tried something I said I probably wouldn't like, only to laugh at me when I told him it was delicious.

Funny, when I was thinking of Gram in that pine box, I was thinking of her with her hair done up all neatly, and her glasses on, wearing a nice dress. She always looked good.

Like Four Bats Out of Hell

So I'm driving on the NJ Turnpike, and there's not a lot of traffic, but enough to keep the lanes pretty full. And suddenly this motorcycle zips past me in the left lane, doing about 90-100 mph. And then it veers into the center white line--not lane--between two cars. And I think, "Idiot!", and before I can even finish that thought, another motorcycle does the exact same thing. Now I'm thinking, "Schmucks!" and get about halfway through that thought when two more motorcycles imitate the first two. So then I get really annoyed and dial #77, which I thought was the line you called for disabled vehicles but turns out to be the "snitch line". But that's what I wanted, so I told them where I was, where the motorcycle drivers were, and what they were doing. They wanted to know if I knew what color the bikes were, or what color jackets the drivers were wearing. No, I wasn't taking notes. Then the guy on the phone says, "Oh, wait, someone else is calling in about the same thing" and cuts me off. Well, a few miles later, I see two of the motorcycles and riders at the side of the road, uninjured and perhaps suffering from blown-out engines (one can only hope). Then a few miles later I see the sight I'd been hoping for--a third driver pulled over by a State Trooper. Never did see the fourth guy. I presume he got away. But Cyclist Number Three probably bought himself some heavy-duty points and fines. There is such a thing as swift justice, after all.--MAY



I'm back, I'm tired, it's late, and the cat ate my weblog

Okay, well, maybe the cat didn't eat my weblog, but three out of four ain't bad.

Unfortunately, I'm too tired to write.

Well, maybe not.

Do you believe in luck? I don't. I think there are only coincidences, and that luck--good or bad--doesn't exist. Most of the time. Sometimes it makes my head spin to think about luck, especially when I'm discussing it with a certain friend who does believe in luck, although she has a skeptic's view about nearly everything else.

The topic came up as I was discussing a fortune cookie that came with my dinner tonight. It says my luck is going to change completely. So then I had to decide if I'm currently having a run of bad luck, good luck, or no luck. Because if you're having no discernible luck, then your luck can change to bad luck and change completely. Which would not be a good thing. Which is starting to make my head spin, because I do not believe in bad luck. Er, now, that is.

And then if I'm having a run of bad luck--go with me here, let's pretend for the moment that all of us believe in luck, and please save your comments for the question-and-answer period after the show; we'll have cake and coffee. So if I'm having a run of bad luck, which can be argued, since I have been laid off from my second job in four months, then my luck, in order to change completely, will have to turn to good luck.

But then what if it changes to no luck, which by the rules I mentioned above would, indeed, be a complete change?

Are you beginning to see why my head spins whenever I have this luck conversation with my normally logical and objective friend?

Well. Good luck to you, then.--MAY