I don’t know what anyone else did this evening, but the least exciting part of my evening was dashing through a torrential downpour, thunder clapping at my heels, toddler wailing, and new skirt dripping with water as my cheap umbrella shrinks to half its wingspan.
I get inside and the handful of ants I’d noticed and crushed this morning in the entryway, which was a troubling development I intended to investigate when I got home, had now ballooned into an army of about two hundred ants.
They were all over. Up and down the entryway, over the tiny side counter, covering my pots and pans, skittering around in my cuisinart.
I squish as many as I can, which had the effect of shifting Aria’s mood from annoyed at being dragged through the rain to being captivated by the battle beneath her.
I then begin vascilating between killing ants, scrubbing pots and pans and counters, feeding Aria, and then subsequently giving Aria things to entertain herself with. It’s at this point that she knocks a butternut squash from my friend’s garden onto the floor, accelerating the need to cook it…
Just as I’m about to get Aria to bed, I realize I’ve got beans soaking and have to cook them. I get the pot going, then head upstairs for several rounds of Minnie’s Boutique and Chica Chica Boom Boom.
When I get downstairs, I immediately. return to the brutal battle front and slay another couple of platoons of ants. I wait out the army.
As the last of a couple dozen ants tumble into the trash can and the caulk on their escape route dries, I finish the next phase of the black beans and begin cutting up butternut squash fries.
Before I know what’s happening, I’m on FaceTime showing my stepmom the blood streaming down my thumb. I stave off the bleeding and get the butternut squash in the oven, then run upstairs to wrap layer upon layer of gauze on my still bleeding lobbed off tip of my thumb with my free hand.
When I get downstairs, there’s a fire in the oven.
I’m not joking. Dad and my step mom were still on FaceTime with me.
The fire finally dies down.
I feel a weird sensation.
Oh man. Aunt Flow is back for another visit.
I get off the phone and race back upstairs.
While I’m in the middle of putting in a tampon, I hear a soothing British voice warning me there is smoke in the entryway.
I stumble downstairs, clean underwear in one hand.
The alarm sounds.
I look around, desperate for something tall enough to reach it. “Don’t wake the baby!” I think frantically.
And that’s when I see it, as if it had been calling for me all along.
My light saber.
Aria had been playing with it earlier in the evening.
I heft it skyward and silence the alarm.
But then the British woman speaks again.
“There’s smoke in the entryway.”
I silence it again… And again…
The voice explains what is happening. The alarm can’t be silenced. There’s too much smoke.
I never turned off the oven. I thought maybe I could finish my squash fries… I cut off my thumb trying to make them…
Aria starts to wail. I throw down my light saber, pull on my underwear, and run to turn off the oven.
I sprint up to get Aria, then realize she’s in the least smoke filled room. So I just hold her.
The alarm sounds over and over again.
Over and over and over again.
The woman speaks again in that comforting, I’m-so-much-better-than-you monotone.
The smoke is clear.
I put Aria back in her crib.
I pack up the fries and beans.
Then I fill up with a long, deep breath.
Needless to say, I did not analyze state assessment data tonight like I was planning on.
I took some Tylenol instead.