Not Dead Yet

I was over at my mom's the other day, sitting on the couch and petting Bailey, the fat Maltese. Apropos of nothing, Mom suddenly asked, "Do you feel like you need to call or check in on me daily since I live alo--" 

"No," I said. 

"Oh, well good," she said. "I wouldn't want you to feel like you need to."

"Not a problem." 

There was a brief silence and then from her, "Of course, there's always the animals to think of if something should happen to me..." 

Oh, she's good. She's VERY good. She knows that while I can stomach the idea of her body entering day three of rigamortis before I find her, I can't even entertain the thought that her animals may be trapped inside for days without access to food and water. Scared, alone, starving...

"Damn it," I say. "Now I won't be able to sleep unless I talk to you every day. You are an evil, evil woman." 

"You don't have to call," said Mom. "I'll just send you an e-mail so you know I'm okay."

Sure enough, I had an e-mail the next day. "STILL ALIVE" read the subject line. 

People, this is going to be a l-o-n-g winter.