(To be honest, I was the one drinking the coffee. I don’t know what Kevin lives on, hence his presence in our dining room.)
Kevin indicated that he may not survive another regime since a new owner may actually have a clue about plumbing and drywall and all issues relating to what constitutes a nurturing environment for a young creeping mold of doom such as himself.
I assured him that, in the short term, we were probably going to rent it out to some college-age friends of Heir I. Kevin was fine with this, in fact, downright joyful, because he felt this would provide the exact climate and living conditions under which he could thrive.
He thanked me for my continued support and ignorance.
“By the by,” I said, stirring my coffee, “when referring to you, do you prefer the pronoun ‘he’ or ‘she,’ seeing as, as a creeping mold of doom, you are, in fact, sexless.”
He assured me that, while either was correct, I might be more comfortable using the pronoun “he” as it relates to the male-indicative “Kevin.”
I would have pursued the matter, as I was curious as to where he got the name “Kevin,” but questioning a guest’s parentage, especially during a first conversation, is rude at best. I certainly didn’t want to confuse him, since he is probably his own parent, a mind-boggling conundrum for a human, let alone a creeping mold of doom.
He appreciated my concern, he said, but as long as I was concerned about fairness, could he bring up a rather delicate subject.
Well, as you can understand, I was a little nervous about responding in the affirmative, particularly because I could not fathom what would be a delicate subject to a creeping mold of doom. Still, he seemed to be civilized, as spores go, so I begged him continue.
He pointed out that he is, in fact, located on my ceiling.
To this I agreed.
As is, he observed, The Linguini.
In addition, he continued, he is larger and in a more conspicuous location.
Yet that single strand of pasta, he pointed out, that simple concoction of flour and water, is the namesake of the literary triumph that is the blog. And he, a humble fungus, complex in both cellular structure and intellect, is a mere negative reference when I am complaining about this house in general.
Oh, how to put this, I thought to myself.
“You see,” I faltered, not wanting to blatantly insult a guest in my home, “it’s a matter of perception. ‘Linguini’ is kind of silly, funny, quirky and ….” Oh dear, there was just no tactful way of putting this. “Mold is … just plain…well…gross.”
I quickly added, “To those who read the blog, of course. Just a perception, you see. I’m sure if they got to know you…” My voice trailed off. I had offended him and there was no way of asking a pardon for that.
He hasn’t spoken to me since.
And now the dryer lint in the basement wants equal time…