I Have Decided to Become a Hermit

On attempting to fulfill my childhood dream, one bowl of chili at a time.

Bev Potter
4 min readFeb 18, 2024


One word: ticks. (Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash)

I always envisioned myself living alone in a cabin in the woods with a bunch of dogs.

This was when I was a teenager, back when loneliness was an abstract concept and the cabin idyll was just a mental escape trap from adolescent dissatisfaction with everything in general.

During my second marriage, I found it almost impossible to sleep without my husband in bed beside me.

Now, of course, I’m the exact opposite and I can’t imagine laying there for eight hours mingling skin mites with another human being.

I have a lot of food stored up from years of getting take-out for my mom, both due to time constraints and because she liked it. Was it good for her (us)? No. Did we care? Also no.

But now it is time to cook, not just to use up the well-past-their-best-by-date supplies, but to save money, about which I am slightly freaking out.

I commiserate with the people who leave their Social Security-receiving relatives in a recliner post-mortem, continue to cash the checks, and then eventually tell the authorities, “Oh, they’re dead? Huh. I didn’t notice.”

I’m going to get in touch with my inner Aldi’s and learn to love both generics and whatever my godawful cooking skills can produce.

At least I can bake.

Made with blueberries from bushes at my mom’s house. I wonder if the new owners will let me come by just to harvest them. Probably not.

But woman does not live by coffee cake alone, and so last weekend I made chili. Which means that, for seven days in a row, I have eaten chili.

The gastrointestinal consequences were severe, and like a Russian political prisoner, I was sent into isolation where I may have actually died. The smell would have been the same.

Right now I’m making bread because I’m out of English muffins, which are both expensive and annoying. It’s like the inventor of English muffins thought, “What if you…



Bev Potter

Legal secretary by day, insomniac by night. Ally. BA, MA. Humor, pop culture, and things that make you think. My weekly-ish newsletter is