My dad was a certified Eccentric Character. A title he wore proudly. When I think of him, a little slideshow of images flash through my mind.
A young version of Dad walking into my first job. He wore a pair of Buddy Holly type glasses but the thick black side pieces were on the outside of his ears, because “they hurt my head.” He just smiled and waved at me as I tried to hide.
An older, much fatter, version of Dad. My husband and I were sitting in the living room watching TV. Dad walked out of his bedroom wearing only a t-shirt and briefs, but held a tiny hand towel in front of his chest for modesty. He smiled and waved.
These antics of his used to embarrass me to no end. But, I’ve begun to notice, I’m not that unlike him after all.
Here I am in New York, staying at my brother’s apartment. He was out of town and kindly allowed me to use his place as a writing retreat. He lives in a beautiful loft with 8 foot windows. It was late and I was cold, because the window in front of me wouldn’t quite close all the way. In the outfit you see before you, I climbed up on the windowsill, and like a flannel-clad Spiderwoman, edged my way from one end of the wall of windows, to the other. Plastered against the glass, struggling to get the window to close, I looked up to see the people in the apartment building across the street watching me. I smiled and waved.
Earlier this week I stepped out my car at the gym and realized I’d forgotten to change my shoes. I still had on my fuzzy bedroom slippers. I thought about going back home to change but then said, “Oh well.” I rode the stationery bike which faces the running track. Each time someone rounded the corner they stumbled a bit as they stared at me. I smiled and waved.
Yes, Family, it’s true. I have stepped onto the slippery slope of Eccentric Characterdom. Be afraid, be very afraid.