We were standing in the kitchen on Christmas morning, when my dad told me, "You're going to end up one of those statistics on the news."
"You have to be more specific," I said. "What statistic?" (This is a big bag to pull from, Dad.)
And he simply said . . . "Recluse." It was almost a whisper, as if he were casting a spell out into the universe. "They'll investigate why you had no heat in the house when they find you, and they'll discover that you DID have a functioning furnace, and they'll go, 'Oooh, recluse.'"
I countered with, "Eccentric." (Please let the records show that I would prefer to be called "eccentric" in my end-of-life documentation.) "There are completely valid reasons I don't use the heat in winter. And eventually, I'll get the fireplace cleaned out and get some fires going, and the house will be a nice, toasty 67-68."
"What's wrong with the fireplace?"
"Nothing. It's just that the spiders have made a really nice home in there. I've gotta relocate them first."
And my dad just looked at me and repeated . . . "Recluse" -- the sounds coming from his mouth like a Schweizer singing "Reeecola!" but with colder, harsher, indoor scenery and far more shame.
I finished my juice and toast. As I went to the sink with my dishes, I told my dad, "I'm not a recluse, you know. I go to a lot of comedy shows."
"That was like a 5-minute delayed response. You know that, right?"
(Whatever, Dad. I'm not a recluse. Now excuse me while I sit alone in your spare bedroom and do whatever it is that I do in there by myself for hours at a time.)
In Case You Were Wondering . . .
Sometimes Ronnie D writes funny stuff. Sometimes she writes desperate teenage prose. Most times she just slams her feeble, little woman-hand onto the keyboard in an attempt to feel something, anything.