This evening, I left the house with the teapot on the stove.

My mind was elsewhere, as it has been for the last couple of weeks. Sometimes I cannot remember what I just did, what I said, or how I got somewhere. I have been on autopilot, going through the motions and completing  tasks without intention. I drift off, too busy thinking about the “next thing” rather than focusing on what I am doing right now.

This evening, I left the house with the teapot on the stove.

I went to the store, even though I was hoping to shirk my home-life responsibilities for another day. I begrudgingly grabbed my purse and walked out the door. I left the lights on. I left the T.V. on. I forgot my house keys and I forgot I was in the middle of making a cup of tea.

This evening, I left the house with the teapot on the stove.

I had a nice time food shopping, throwing junk food into the cart. Laughing about how we are supposed to be eating healthy and we need to consume moderately. There in the aisles, the shopping carts whizzing by, the clamoring of children begging for treats, I remembered, I left the stove on.

We had to go!

reza-shayestehpour-278391-unsplash“Maybe I did not turn the stove on, that happens sometimes.” I tried, unsuccessfully, to convince myself. Instead I thought about how apartment fires spread rapidly. The fire engulfing the whole building, satisfying its hunger for destruction. I thought about the children that live beneath us, how quickly their playtime would be abruptly interrupted due to an irresponsible tenant. I thought about how we would rebuild our lives, how would I survive the guilt. With a white-knuckle grip on the shopping cart ,we hastily made our way to the check out line.

We were only 10 minutes away and it felt like hours. I could not stop fidgeting. I could not engage in friendly conversation to distract myself, we drove back in silence. the closer we were, the more I pictured the fleet of firetrucks, the disapproving police offers, the residents holding each other on the grass. It is a beautiful night for being outside, not under these circumstances.

We arrived. It was quiet. I grabbed Austin’s keys and ran inside. My heart was pounding as I approached the door. I could not hear anything, so far so good, but it could also be misleading. I opened the door, a faint whistle could be heard from the entryway. I lightly jogged to the kitchen, everything was fine. I turned the stove off, removed the teapot, and released a huge sigh of relief.

I believe my brush with disaster was a much-needed lesson and reminder. Regardless of the stress, regardless of the mundane or the banalities of life, always be in the moment. Even though I know these things, it is so easy to let it slide, lose track, and forego being aware of my surroundings.

This evening, I left the house with the teapot of the stove. I am thankful that it happened and I am thankful everything turned out okay.

 

 

Photo by reza shayestehpour on Unsplash

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Written by MutedMouthful

Native New Yorker, amateur artist, sarcastic social worker, professional people watcher, and alliteration addict.

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