it was bound to happen. for those who have read my book, the ken & amy drive is always so exciting. from the moment the key goes into the ignition, something is bound to be said, happen, trigger an event, create some kind of hysteria. today was a banner day, from start to finish. ken went to the gym. i decided i needed some alone time, as in, please, go… stay a few hours… please, let me have some time to myself, no i don’t need to stretch. i stretch all week. i do stretch all week, my neck – i stretch my neck particularly when i’m trying to eavesdrop. so off he goes to gym, and i have some alone time with my computer. no one watching over my shoulder, asking who i’m e-mailing, what’s new on facebook, it’s just me and my MacBook. alone. and then i decide hmmm, maybe i should clean off my desk, get rid of the unwanted letters, bills, crap & collectibles stacking up. it was just a few days ago my dear friend jeff recommend a sure fire (no pun intended) way to get rid of all secrets and such, toss right in the fireplace. light a match and say, “see ya.” so i tossed a bunch of old mail, letters, and heaped them onto the already blazing fire, when all of a sudden a flame the likes of which i have never seen pulls it’s way up and out of the chimney, and low and behold … tada…. a chimney fire. since i don’t have a clue about shit like this, i do what comes natural to me, i call robyn and we chit chat about guilt & shame & women who are hovering. i don’t feel like i’m quite hovering, but the shame seems to be blazing away. ken finally makes his way home and says, “holy mother of god call the fire department.” the fire department, I ask curiously while cradling robyn on my right shoulder, why? well for starters we have what is commonly known as a chimney rage. hmmm. never heard of that before. an amy rage, yeah, sure, but never in my 55 years did i hear of a chimney rage. “gotta call you back robyn, seems we’re in trouble here.” i call the fire department, they come, a few trucks, a lot of guys, and one woman. who by the way seems a bit peeved that i’m inside my house eating a sandwich, and on the phone (with robyn, i called her back). I try to act concerned: is there anything i need to do, i ask the fire woman, no she says, with a hint of attitude, just keep doing what you’re doing. hmmm. a bit snarky. but then again… if i were wearing a bright yellow bulky snow suit and matching hat i wouldn’t be too thrilled. she tells me she likes her job. i offer her half my sandwich.
the fire goes out, the house is filled with smoke, my mother’s ashes are coated with ashes, very appropriate, i think. we get this all out of the way. ken asks me what the fuck i threw into the fireplace to get it raging like this. i don’t answer. i shrug and say, you know…stuff, wood. wood and stuff, paper stuff.
yeah. he says. unconvinced.
the giants are playing tonight. thank god for the giants.
we go to a friends house so they can howl at the massive TV while watching the giants. i am not a football fan. i would much prefer to start chimney fires. we’re in the car. he’s trying desperately to listen to the giants on radio, the static is overwhelming. he starts to drive slower, thinking this will give him an opportunity to hear the game better. where do people come up with such crazy reasoning? truly. i ask him to drive faster, this coming from a woman who in 16 years has not once uttered those words: drive faster, hon.
why, why do you want me to drive faster? he asks curiously.
secrets, i tell him … secrets. i tossed in a ton of secrets into the fireplace and that’s why it raged, and spewed and spit out soot and smoke, secrets. Bitter breeds bitter, anger breeds anger. no way around it.
he tells he’s not going to drive faster because, get this:
“slow breeds thoughtfulness and mindfulness.”
all of a sudden ken – my ken – is the dalai lama.
maybe you oughta see a shrink.
maybe you oughta drive faster.
fuck you.
same old same old. different route.

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2 Responses to “inevitable”

  1. Frances

    “i shrug and say, you know…stuff, wood. wood and stuff, paper stuff.”

    This is so my response to things like this! “What did you do?” “Oh, well, (shrug) you know. Nothing unusual (shrug, facial expression that communicates – who me?), just something your average person would see as reasonable as far as I’m concerned.”

    I recommend burning stuff like that outside. Then if it gets out of hand you can just hose it down yourself!

  2. Margaret Andrews

    A chimney fire – wow! Why can’t I have a chimney fire? But no, I get to blog about carpet stains, wallpaper and dry rot. Boooooooooooooring!
    Nothing exciting ever happens to me.

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