The Parakeet's Name is Bella

Tonight's almost-full moon called for a nice bath. A gentile soak in warm waters. And so it was that I climbed my heavy body upstairs in The Retro House to disrobe in my bedroom (if you will). With the moonlight filtering in the back windows I decided to leave the lights off, making the top story dark except for a dim green night light emanating from the hallway. After undressing I set my clothes in the hamper and prepared to make the short journey from my bedroom to my bathroom. As I did so I encountered an unknown trespasser at the top of my stairs.

I screamed!

I jumped!

I hid my lady parts with my arms!

I screamed again!

I realized I was in shock!

I tried to hide my lady parts better by repositioning my arms!

I locked eyes with my trespasser!

It was my fourteen-year-old niece Lindsay!

I could see in the light of the hall that her dark eyes were horrified. Like really appalled. Like seeing the violence that is alligators feasting on water buffalo on the Planet Earth Series.

"We . . . knocked . . ." she stuttered.

"Hold on!" I screamed and ran the rest of the way to the bathroom where I managed to find a towel. Only, a towel at this point in my life doesn't cover up nearly enough (you know) so I dashed back down the hall ("Wait again!") to my XXXL terry-cloth robe.

After the adrenalin settled in my mix-o-hormones I calmly walked down the stairs to see Lindsay and Emily (the other fourteen-year-old niece) awkwardly standing in my kitchen. Lindsay was petting the tropical-colored parakeet she got for her recent birthday and Emily was holding the camera bag (the Nikon D-40, another birthday surprise Lindsay wanted to show-and-tell to me).

There was nothing to do but laugh. And laugh we did. I held the parakeet on my fingers and we laughed. I tried the shutter speed on the new camera . . . and we laughed. Then Lindsay said seeing me nude in my pregnant glory was kinda like Jim Carey's naked Grinch which made me laugh then, but now I am not so sure.

To tell the truth though, I felt bad. It was only yesterday that I was fourteen. Having been asked to serve at our neighbor's daughter's wedding party (oh the 80's!) I arrived a little early to help out. As the story goes, I needed to use the restroom and in doing so walked in on my neighbor shaving in front of a large mirror (surround-sight) as he straddled a metal stool. Yes, I saw it (all). Yes, it was the first time I had seen a grown man naked. And yes, he was our home teacher at the time.

I pretended not to see. I told no one. I prayed he didn't see who it was that barged in as he made his beard disappear. Even so, I am left with the mental scar of which I shall never-even-in-eternity forget. It my disturbing cross to bare (pun intiendo!)

So I think I did the right thing tonight by laughing. Lindsay even made some surprisingly funny jokes about the whole matter making me believe that she didn't go home and purge. Besides, my body really is beautiful. I'd write more on that subject, but how do I know you aren't some lurking pervert?

I mean really.

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