It began as a typical Friday afternoon, working at home on my books, breaking every so often for a workout, a stretch, some cleaning, or a meal. I finished lunch but the TV was still on, and when I happened to glance at it, notice of a tornado warning trailed at the bottom of the screen—in effect until ten p.m.
I always get nervous about these things. We’ve had them, but they are so rare here in New York that I still associate tornadoes with Kansas and Oz and okay maybe Texas.
My son, Jesse, would be on his way over soon, so I went on a detail-seeking mission, like what time exactly might this event occur and the exact percentage of its likelihood. The internet said it was a watch, not a warning. Still, I wanted to know how fast it could change from watch to warning. I was obsessed.
Once Jesse arrived, things just about returned to normal. I was making a honey mustard/barbecue chicken stir fry (always so delicious over couscous.) The place was lamp-lit with the a/c on, nice and cozy, and I was listening to the rain. Then, in my still “kind of nervous” rushing around, I managed to drop half a box of the couscous all over the kitchen floor.
I had another box—good thing. (I’m so prepared.)
But we have this thing about bugs. Jesse always had a slight phobia when it came to insects or rodents. As for me, well I just don’t want to see them crawling or watch them die. My place has been a pest-free zone. Seriously, I have not seen a bug since I moved in here two years ago. Jesse had always been appalled at the notion that they could casually stroll in like a guest, and I’d be all like oh, damn, the thing has to suffer a horrible death now. I can’t have that.
So I had to get every single morsel of that couscous off the floor because bugs. I thought it would be a quick vacuum, and that would do the trick, but it managed to get under the oven, so we had to move that. Still not a huge deal, but my son has this way of catastrophizing that is right on par with my anxiety. Every time I thought I had finished, he’d be like, no there’s a truckload more under there or a ton more under that thing. I was arguing there wasn’t even a truckload or a ton in the box to begin with! A lot of it did manage to get wedged under the cabinet on both sides, though, so I had to lay down and reach under with utensils and paper towels until every trace of it was gone. Meanwhile, Jesse managed to get a paper towel sucked up into the vacuum and had to take the whole thing apart to get it out. We laughed, and I cautioned him about getting the fork sucked up and confiscated it so that couldn’t happen.
This unanticipated ordeal took about an hour, but it got done, and soon after, dinner was on the table, which looked a lot like this:
Despite everything, it came out great, and after that, we sat down to binge watch “How I Met Your Mother.” I bought that whole series along with “Big Bang Theory,” because I love funny stuff, and laughter is everything.
So with the disk loading up now, my son turns to me with this really serious look on his face and says, “So now a tornado is coming to finish us off?”
I laughed for ten minutes.
Yes, now that we survived the zombie apocalypse, Armageddon and all—
And there was no tornado, but clearly, panicking and catastrophizing never really does any good.
© Copyright July 1, 2016 by Kyrian Lyndon at kyrianlyndon.com. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted without permission.
Wizard of Oz 1939 photo by Insomnia Cured Here
Chicken photo by jeffreyw
And here is his recipe
This is the recipe I used except I add jalapenos.