The Good Friday Five
1. I set a fire in my oven this week. Some crumbs, it seems, had fallen through some impossibly small slits in the oven floor. I didn’t realize what was happening at first. I smelled a bit of smoke and thought: One of my neighbors must be grilling on the roof deck (never mind that it was about 40 degrees that night). By the time I got with the program, flames were licking the oven racks. I watched through the oven window for a moment and had another astute thought: Oh shit. I turned off the oven as smoke was pouring from the burners. My heart really did start racing and for the briefest moment I flashed to evacuating a burning building. (Would I be able to carry out all of my shoes? Or should I just get the cute ones?) But wait! I had a fire extinguisher. Now if I could have just remembered where that was. Then, probably learned from the movie Backdraft (who says movies aren’t educational?), I decided that opening the oven door would let in oxygen and might make the fire worse. So I let it burn itself out, which it did within a few minutes. My apartment smelled like London during the Blitz, but otherwise no harm done. At least until the next time I decide to bake some cookies.
2. I decided to get a kicky new hairstyle for spring. At least that’s what my sylist called it. It was supposed to be fun and flirty and oh, so chic. Which would be true if I was Victoria Beckham. Instead I think I look like a very different kind of soccer mom. No fault of the sylist and no offense to the soccer momz out there. But when I looked in the mirror I wasn’t looking back at me. It was like me from a parallel universe. Like, oh, you’re out there living this other life. And I wondered for a moment if things were good in that other place. Had I missed a boat? Commence Mid Life Crisis.
3. I’m writing a new short story. I’ve been so engrossed in my novel for so long, I feel a bit rusty. Short stories are, well, short. You have to get to the point fast and you have to lure the reader in even faster. No time for lazing around by the theoretical pool sipping a mai tai. You have to climb the ladder and jump off the high dive. Right now I don’t know if this is a story worth telling. I have a situation and some interesting characters, but what’s the hook? Where’s the momentum? Over the next month I’ll probably write 100 pages to get to 10 that I deem worthy of showing someone, if ever. Um, someone remind me why do I do this?
4. Have you ever had a startling revelation about yourself? Something you’ve been doing for months or even years without giving it a second thought, which you now realize suddenly while eating breakfast or pressing the elevator button to your office, was never a good idea in the first place? Case in point: A friend told me that she was at Sephora and, catching her reflection in a mirror, had the distinct realization that she did not look good as a blonde despite having dyed her hair the same color for 10 years. It wasn’t a moment of self pity, just a clear, objective confirmation. I had a similar moment of self discovery waiting for the train. I thought: almost every guy I’ve dated or been attracted to was completely jaded. And I dislike that been-there-done-that attitude. One guy I really, really (no really) liked could stand on the edge of the Grand Canyon and say, “Yep, that’s a hole in the ground.” What made me realize that on the platform of the 2 train, instead of say a few years back when I was pining for the guy? Why didn’t my friend come to this conclusion before spending thousands of dollars on salon treatments? No idea.
5. And now I leave you with some Easter thoughts: My peeps waiting for the 1 train.