My own worst night­mare

GA Voice - - Out Spoken - By MELISSA CARTER

It’s that time of year when you pay more at­ten­tion to things that go bump in the night. But I don’t need ghosts in my house to know liv­ing alone has be­come quite scary.

I shared with you that Katie Jo and I ended our re­la­tion­ship ear­lier this year, which meant I be­gan liv­ing alone again for the first time in al­most a decade. It also meant my liv­ing room be­came quite bare with the re­moval of her fur­ni­ture, and my dis­carded pieces that had been left in the garage sud­denly be­came im­por­tant again. In par­tic­u­lar, there was a leather lounger I de­cided to move back into place in front of the tele­vi­sion. It’s just a chair, I thought, so I don’t need any help with this. The door to the kitchen from the garage in­cludes two steps, and as I tried to guide the sur­pris­ingly un­co­op­er­a­tive piece of fur­ni­ture to­ward the thresh­old, one of its legs slipped off a step and slammed the full weight of the chair onto my leg.

When you bump your toe on a ta­ble or hit your head on a cabi­net door, you im­me­di­ately get mad. But when you re­ally hurt your­self, you cry, and that’s ex­actly what I did. I squat­ted and sobbed for a full two min­utes be­fore I took a look at the dam­age. The swelling be­gan im­me­di­ately, and the im­pact point was al­ready an ugly bruise. The good news came when I could put weight on that leg and walk with­out any dif­fi­culty. But the nau­sea that fol­lowed let me know I had re­ally hurt my­self, and I even­tu­ally asked some­one else to fin­ish the in­ad­e­quate job I started.

I went to Pied­mont Hospi­tal in the fol­low­ing days to make sure there was no break or frac­ture, and am pleased to re­port the in­jury was su­per­fi­cial, both to my leg and my ego. So that night I de­cided to take it easy, I threw some frozen turkey on the stove and started a movie. Know­ing it would take a while for the meat to cook, I didn’t check on it very of­ten. In fact, I for­got it was there. When I got up to get some­thing else I re­al­ized my er­ror and found my din­ner charred and smoky. I opened a win­dow to clear the haze just about the time my hall­way smoke alarm rang. I quickly turned it off, fin­ished clean­ing the cook­ware and re­turned to the end of my movie.

Soon I heard voices and as­sumed it was just my neigh­bors, un­til I saw a face and hands pressed against my front door. I also saw the red lights flash­ing be­hind them, and felt the warmth of em­bar­rass­ment. The alarm had trig­gered a call to my lo­cal fire depart­ment.

“I burned the turkey,” I said as I greeted the three men in uni­form.

“We can tell,” said the el­dest of the three, smil­ing.

Af­ter they made sure every­thing was ok, I apol­o­gized and of­fered them din­ner, but ex­plained it would have to be take-out. They laughed as they made their way back down my drive­way to their mas­sive red truck, lights flash­ing in all di­rec­tions.

This Hal­loween I’m not afraid of witches and ghouls; at the mo­ment I seem to be my own worst night­mare.

Melissa Carter is one of the Morn­ing Show hosts on B98.5. In ad­di­tion, she is a writer for the Huff­in­g­ton Post. She is rec­og­nized as one of the first out ra­dio per­son­al­i­ties in At­lanta and one ofthe few in the coun­try. Fol­low her on Twit­ter@Melis­saCarter

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