15 February 2005

I should read my own stupid note

I have a Post-It note (a rather fetching Post-It note with Winnie-the-Pooh on it) stuck on my front door that says "Is the heater turned off? How about the stove?" Generally, I read this note on my way out the door - because little notes only work if you read them - and I either answer "Yep!" as I head out or I scamper back and check the heater and the stove and any candles I may have lit. Because if I burn the place down, what with living in a condo and all, it would definitely annoy the rest of my stairwell.

This little note usually works a treat. I read, I check, life is good. And you know why I put that little note there? Because of the time I got to David's and, as I was turning into his neighborhood, thought to myself "Did I turn off the stove?" Keep me awake for hours, that did. And woke me up a couple of times later on. I'd be unconscious and my brain would form a pictures of a smoudering ruin, dead cat, homeless neighbors, the whole deal. The sort of thing that wakes you up faster and more completely than all the espresso in the world.

And it's not like it's an impossible event because when I was a teen-ager, I burned several of my mother's pots dry and I'd cost Mollie a couple of tea kettles when I lived with her. It seems that when Princess Oblivious picks up a book, the whole world - including the tangy smell of burnt metal - goes away.

Well, last night I was heading out for rehearsal and whether I would be on time or late depended on the timing of a few stoplights. And I hate being late. I prefer to be early, but that option was already gone. So I zoomed past my little note, went to rehearsal, rehearsed, followed David back to Virginia, and - as I turned into his neighborhood - thought the bad thought: "Did I turn off the stove?" It's like that moment in The Pirates of Penzance when General Stanley claims to be an orphan and all the pirates cry "Oh, dash it all - here we go again!" (Or something like that; I'm usually not in the men's chorus, so their cries de couer aren't completely memorized.)

I spent the rest of the evening - and random pockets of the night - doing mental re-enactments of dinner. I made toast, I made soup, I sat the computer and checked my mail, got an IM from Amy, went back for the second half of the soup which had cooled, turned the stove on and up to high, warmed up the soup, ladled it into my cup, ..... and headed back to the computer. And there's a nice little mental gap between "ladled it into my cup" and "headed back to the computer."

I figured that because I had turned the stove up to high I must have turned it off. I must have. Because it would have burned dry almost instantly if I set an empty pot on a burner set on high.

Only when I said this to David, I could hear in my voice the same lack of conviction that I have when I say "I'm not tired" at work and Tanya asks how I got all those parts when I am such a lousy actress.

So I drove from David's to my house on my way to work to check the darn thing. Of course, it was off. Don't be silly. And I'd put the pot on a different (and cool) burner anyway. Pity that the traffic was of the sort that induces cardiac arrest (stupid toll road). "I'm not stressed out." (Don't the unconvincing tones just leap off the screen at you?)

Must. Read. Note. // Must. Read. Note. // Must. Read. Note.

(PS - Deb and Julie ~ feel free to laugh your butts off at me. I remember sending you 45 minutes out of your way on the way home from NYC to check my stupid stove.)

1 comment:

Julie Stevens said...

Yeah, but we got to see your neat apartment! Besides, once you mentioned it, *I* would not have been able to sleep until you let me know that everything was alright, so I'm glad I did do it. :o) Besides, what else would I want to do at 2:00 in the morning?