“I Said ‘Dinner!'”

Dinner was ready.

I texted Dylan, who was upstairs: “Dinner. NOW.”

I added the “now” to imply that he should actually show up. Yet, he did not show up.

“Dude.” I texted again.

There was no response.

“DINNER!” I screamed upstairs, loud enough for the entire neighborhood to hear me.

Shane came barreling down the stairs immediately. There was no further sound.

I dug deep. “DIIIIIIINNNNNNNERRRRRRR!” I bellowed, hurting my throat and reminding me that I don’t know how to properly project my voice.

Still no sound from upstairs. Not even a footstep.

Dylan practices music in a relatively soundproof room. He has said, on numerous occasions, that he will always answer my texts when he is in that room. This, however, is not the case.

I went and got the giant bell, the one from my childhood that my mom used to ring for me, when I was two miles away playing in a creek somewhere.


The entire neighborhood heard that bell. It reverberated in my hand until I finally stopped the vibrations.

I waited a minute. Then another minute.

Finally, with a heavy sigh, I started climbing the stairs. I went into the back room, where Dylan spends his waking hours. I opened the door. As usual, Dylan was sitting on the bench, not really playing the keyboards, and hunched over his cell phone.

“I SAID ‘DINNER’!” I boomed, probably too loud for the quiet room.

“I DIDN’T HEAR YOU!” he boomed back, definitely too loud for the room. (He knows how to properly project.)

“I texted you!” I said, exasperated. “Twice!”

“Well I just NOW got your text! I can’t answer it if I didn’t get it until just this second!”

“AND I have been screaming from the bottom of the stairs! I even rang the dinner bell! You seriously didn’t hear the bell?!”

“No!” he said.

“Dylan,” I said, “I am really, really sick of climbing the stairs and coming back here just to find you on the phone, five minutes after I texted you, screamed for you and then rang the bell. If you can’t come down when I call you, then you can’t stay in this room.”

“But you didn’t even try CALLING me!” Dylan said. “I would have answered the phone if you had just CALLED me!”

Eventually, Dylan and I both went down for our somewhat cold dinner.

As we reached the kitchen, Dylan veered off the path. “I have to go to the bathroom,” he said.

So as usual, the family ate dinner without Dylan.

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