Family Seeds

In 1982, June Cleaver decides to stay in her pajamas. She slides the lunch

money under the door and watches soaps all day, because fuck you she’s

paid her dues. That year Ward is taking his secretary to dinner and the

movies, drinking too much at the family table, laughing too long at the

children’s jokes. The presents pile on Christmas at her feet, her eyes

growing harder with each thank you. Wally finds his way inside his girl-

friend’s shirt, while they “wrestle” on the coach, giggles growing

increasingly strained. Beaver peeks through the dining shutters to cop a

look, ‘The Who’ drowning the sneer as he rolls her onto the floor. June

swats the Beavs backside, pretending not to notice. She flips donuts in

grease on the stove, makes homemade Big Macs, eats finger foods and

Fritos on the back patio. They play pinochle with a dummy hand, sip coke

with ice cubes, and stay up far too late. Beav cries himself to sleep one

night, pressing his ear close to the record player. He grows a crush on the

babysitter, and toy soldiers melt army green in the muddy trenches of the

yard. But he loves her best that year, almost ten and drunk slow dancing

in circles around the kitchen floor.

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