January 22nd, 2010

Ever have one of those days? From the moment you reached your hand out from under the warm cozy comforter into the dark, freezing bedroom to shut off the blaring of the alarm you just knew: you were going to regret getting up.

You shiver into your robe and a dull throbbing in your temple taps a rendition of “All My Trials,” and your joints ache; a voice in your head whispers: “go back to bed.”

But you ignore it.

This was my day earlier this week. By 10am I had burned my wrist with my curling iron, I’d dropped almost everything I picked up: including my laptop bag, with laptop inside, of course, and I’d been late to a meeting – something I can’t stand. My father used to say he’d rather turn up 30 minutes early than five minutes late.

By noon I’d slammed my knee on my desk and almost hyper-ventilated during another meeting.

At 1:30p, after gritting my teeth through yet another meeting I went into the well-appointed women’s restroom, tried to stand so as to not activate the automated faucets which can (and have) splash my suede jacket. I took a long, deep breathe. Twice.

“Everyone can’t be an idiot, Lara. The common denominator is you. Get. A. Grip.”

The afternoon was little better and by the time I got home I’d had more than enough.

A warm bubble bath and a well worn copy of one of my favorite novels was calling my name. I lit a candle I’d received for the holidays, preparing to disrobe and slip into the luxurious warmth of my garden tub.

Just as I reached for the faucet I remembered I needed to call my father. He’d started physical therapy and I wanted to get a progress report.

I Skyped my parents on my laptop and we talked for a few moments.

In the middle of my relaying my rotten day I suddenly smelled something horrible.

Something was burning!

Immediately I ran for the dryer: after all when was the last time I’d cleaned out the lint trap?? Try September.

I opened the lint trap and pulled out a 3-inch pile of who-knows-what….but that wasn’t what smelled. I walked over to our gas fireplace. No smell there either.

“The candle,” I remembered. I walked into the bathroom, took a whiff of the candle: there wasn’t any particular smell, good, bad or indifferent. “What a dud,” I said, blowing it out, hurrying back to my laptop to my parents who were concerned.

“No idea,” I said, as way of explanation.

Just then Alex, my long haired (previously) long tailed tabby cat came into view.

His tail was a disaster!

Luckily, thankfully, the fire had gone out before it burned down to his skin. He didn’t seem to be hurt at all, in fact, he didn’t seem to even be in distress.

I almost collapsed with panic at what could have happened: how Alex might have been painfully burned. Or when getting away from the flame, his long tail could have brushed against the cotton shower curtain or my bamboo-fiber robe.

The next time I wake up and feel like I should stay in bed I’ll probably still get up. But I’ll make sure there are no open flames…which Alex will appreciate. In the meantime we’re calling him Stubby……

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