Aside from omitting the detail about our house being located next to a cemetery, the real estate agent neglected to mention the way the front entrance to the house morphs into a revolving door whenever a neighborhood adult or child appears before it. The broken doorbell is actually clever façade for a thumbprint scanner, granting access to all in its database. That’s the best possibility I can come up with to account for the volume of traffic through my home. This would explain why I've been denied entry on several occasions, even when I was certain I heard children's voices coming from inside.
As the neighborhood “Mom,” I love the kids, and do whatever I can for them. The problem is they think they live here. One of them even makes requests when he knows I’m going to buy groceries.
Boundaries mean nothing in my neighborhood. It’s a good thing I lock interior doors while I’m indecent. Yesterday I was taking a shower, in what I thought to be the privacy of my bathroom. As I was rinsing conditioner from my lustrous mane of supermodel hair, the sound of a knock, followed by a high-pitched voice of a child, scared me so bad that I'm sure the jump/spin/arm flailing combo I executed would have earned me an impressive mark from a farsighted Olympic ice skating judge.
Irritated, I yelled out, "What! Who is it?" The answer came from a child of another mother.
"It's me, Sam. I as unner in i ...ill ould o oo i ous." I stopped listening after the identification.
"Okay! Dude! I'm IN the shower! Wait until I get out, okay please?" This is not surprising. Adults have done this to me, too. Maybe there's a peephole in the wall I haven’t discovered. God help them, if that's happening. I don't even look at myself in the shower. Anyone else looking must have lost a bet or something. Poor suckers.
After my peaceful oasis suffered a security breach, I finished my shower, dried off, and began dressing. Once again…..
“Umm Miss Jill? Can we set up an email account for me on your computer?” I heard from the other side of the door.
Hard to believe, but words do fail me at times. I stood for a moment, toying with the idea of an escape out the bathroom window. Until I looked down at the size of my naked butt, and a terrifying image hit me of getting stuck halfway through the window, like the Winnie the Pooh scene when Pooh got stuck in Rabbit’s doorway. Pooh had to starve for days before his ample girth even budged. I exhaled and sucked in my gut. No good. I was looking at weeks in that tiny window.
“Let me get dressed and I’ll be right out.” Relentless, these kids.
Yes, locking the front door helps, but only so much. My kids will open the door for their friends, and then forget to lock it again.
Since the summer heat moved in early this year in the south, my ancient air conditioner is already whining in protest. Every time a kid opens the front or back door, a vacuum is created, my wallet opens, and money (assuming I had any in it) flies right out of my house and into the yard.
“Close the door! The air conditioner’s on! Stop going in and out!” can be heard every few minutes from wherever I am in the house. Is there a chemical leak in my home only affecting the male brain? How are they unable to retain the smallest amount of information or execute basic commands? Trained chimps can do that much.
School’s out now, so the real fun begins. A steady stream of children will be invading my home over the next two and a half months. I’ll be hiding in my closet, hunched over my laptop with a bottle of coconut rum and five pounds of chocolate, hammering out gibberish no one will read. A dysfunctional version of Erma Bombeck. Kids will be passing notes to me under the door, like they do when I’m in the bathroom. Perhaps I’ll emerge at summer’s end with a bestselling novel.
The first thing I’ll do with the advance from my publisher is install a bigger window in my bathroom.