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Wednesday, July 12, 2006


I am obsessed with explosions. In a bad way.

I'm scared of firecrackers.

I hold glasses gingerly because I'm waiting for them to shatter between my fingers, cutting a bloody path across my palm. I've had glass explode on me before. That it was directly related to being on a hot stove, and knowing the heat instantly fuses the edges of the break doesn't occur to me in my paranoia of all glass, all the time.

When I boil water in the kettle and it whistles shrillly, I carefully pull it off the burner and flip open the top, then wait a minute because I expect the metal kettle to burst open, spilling boiling water on me.

Pushing the gas pedal down past where the car comfortably wants to go revs the engine and makes my heart stop for a second, waiting for the front hood of my car to erupt in sparks and flames.

I expect it. I believe it will happen one day.

Once in the throes of a panic attack, the only one I've ever had, back in college, I heard a ticking coming from the water heater closet. I laid down on the floor next to it, waiting for it to burst. I fell asleep there.

When I was a kid, a stove really did explode on me. We were making cookies with a babysitter, and she didn't know how to light our old, scary propane stove. I was ten or so, and instructed her to stick the match down into the pilot hole while turning on the gas. A flute of blue flame rose out of the hole. That had never happened before. We didn't know what to do. So I blew it out. And then the kitchen exploded.

I remember blue and orange light. It fizzled and filled the entire room, and was over in a fraction of a second. But windows were knocked out of their frames across the house, and a quarter inch of my hair, brows, and lashes were sizzled.

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