Burning Down the House [ 2004-08-13, 12:50 a.m. ]

I had a dream last night about The Daily Show. More to the point it was all about Stephen Colbert. God, that man is sexy. Alas, it wasn't a sex dream but just me watching the tv while he was being interviewed and the rest of TDS crew were being ignored by the interviewer. Heh. I woke up from that dream feeling like 1)mmmm...Stephen Colbert.. and 2)I need a life.

I promise to have one real soon so my handful of readers aren't bored to tears. Or at least I'm not.

Speaking of tears. I was up for almost 23 hours yesterday. I don't know why I do that to myself. But I was lying there in bed just after turning off the lights. Looking at all the LED lights from my stereo, computer,cable modem etc.. Thinking how weird it would be for the 13 year old me to have that in my bedroom. The most I ever had was a tiny black&white tv (the same one I have in my kitchen now) and a radio and stereo.

Then I started thinking about me at that age and how I was glad I didn't know what would happen in that same house 4 years later. When I was 17 years old, I set the house on fire. I was making some french fries and it was of course late at night. Probably after midnight. We had a two-story house. The kitchen was upstairs and the living room downstairs. I put the fries on the stove. We didn't have a fry daddy kind of thing which is very safe. We used a large pot with oil in it and a basket. You had to be careful about watching how hot it got. I did not. I went downstairs and the tv was on. I remember shutting my eyes. The next thing I remember is my Mom waking me up as she's trying to dial 911. The phone line cut out because half of the upstairs was on fire.

My Dad got the outside hose and tried to help put it out. A volunteer fireman (Roanoke has a huge volunteer fire dept., at least it did back in my day) was driving by and stopped to help till the fire truck got there.

That was pretty much the worst day of my life. Not just because of the damage it did to the house. Or the fact that we found our cat dead upstairs the next day. She had died from smoke inhilation. I can never forgive myself for that. Ever.

No, I started crying last night because the thought that I've repressed 21 years is that if my Mom or Dad hadn't gotten up in the night, they would have died from the smoke. That's the thought that can haunt me when I least expect it. I hate myself for the fact that even though my own food problem caused the fire, that I still can't give it up. I don't ask for sympathy or pity. I just know myself too well and sometimes not at all. The route my thoughts can take can really surprise. Like they did last night.

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Ryan Adams