Almost 20 years. That's how long it lasted. 19 years and just shy of 8 months. And now it's gone. That was how long I went without ever having to say, "Today, my brother saw me naked."
I was getting ready to take a shower this afternoon. I started the water, took off my pajamas, and I was standing there cleaning my ears and waiting for the water to warm up when I heard a tiny clink in the dining room. I knew that sound -- it was keys on the table. A silhouette immediately appeared. I swung the door shut. "Sorry," I called, trying not to sound like I was wishing my head would just explode, "I didn't realize you were coming home so soon." I knew he was coming home to to laundry, but I didn't expect that it would be in the afternoon. Obviously, or I wouldn't have had my kibbles and bits on display.
The whole time I was in the shower, I tried to come up with various ways in which it didn't actually happen. I'd imagined him. It was really a robber who likes to drop keys on the table before he robs a place. He was struck hysterically blind. He was engaged in a tantric blink and his eyes had been closed the whole time. But eventually, I had to get out of the shower. He was in the basement when I came out, my robe knotted in several places.
"Dude. Sorry about that."
"I don't care. I've seen Papa naked."
Of course he has. Everyone has seen our father naked. People who don't even know him have seen him naked. (That is not hyperbole.) I used to have to remind him to put pants on when my friends would visit. And by used to, I mean in 2004. Interesting note -- I haven't lived with him since 2003.
So, that was that. Almost two decades -- it was a good run, but all good things have to come to an end eventually. I don't see why, but this is what I've been told, usually after some analagous catastrophe. Whatever, I've changed his diapers. Somewhat less recently than 2004, though.