CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The way I figure it, what I did with the body was kind of my due. Payment for the days of commotion and dirty dishes and mountains of laundry. And mostly, for having been eaten out of house and home by teen locusts.
This particular swarm that descended last weekend happens to be adorable as all get-out. They're creative and interesting and colorful (especially their hair). And they weren't totally heartless. I mean, they did leave me a meatball. A meatball.
It was still frozen.
Empty ice trays are one thing, but try finding solace for an empty belly after 15-year-olds have ravaged your cabinets and fridge. It had reached a point where the cats were nervously guarding their Chow.
The instant-gratification foods had been the first to go. Empty cereal boxes littered the counter, toppled over frozen pizza boxes and Pop-Tarts cartons. One section of the kitchen looked like the Ramen graveyard, that fabled land where torn, empty packets go when they feel the end is near.
The scene on another counter was grisly. It appeared they'd slaughtered something crispy. There were far too many crumbs for it to have been anything less than a Doughboy Sacrifice.
Truth be told, though, I love the commotion of lots of kids in the house. I like the chatter and the laughter. And the opportunity to provide therapists with clients.
On Monday, the pack of girls who had been staying at my house talked me into driving them to a movie. It was after work and I had already changed into my evening attire, which Celeste calls "Appalachian lingerie" -- paint-splattered sweat pants, sports bra, flannel shirt worn so thin you could read through the fabric if it weren't also so ragged the strings would get in the way. Considering that all I planned to do was drive and drop off, I completed the ensemble with somewhat formal black work shoes, since they were right by the door.
The girls waited until I was pulling up to the curb outside the theater to inform me that the scary movie they wanted to see required an adult to purchase the ticket.
"Dressed like this?" I said.
"You look fine," Celeste said. "Quirky."
What I looked like was a street person with stolen footwear.