When an alarm pierces the dark o’clock of Thursday morning, a baker immediately believes the worst. Digging into the abyss of an exhausted subconscious, this baker wonders if she forgot to turn off the oven.
Convinced I am responsible for a house engulfed in flames, I open one eye. The floorboards are creaking followed by the interruption of the incessant beeping. Mr. Sweet As Pie returns from the third floor and assures me the house is not on fire. He continues, “It’s the carbon monoxide detector.”
“Whaaaa???!!!” I mumble from the depths of my striped percale. Suddenly I’m wide awake. “That’s the one where you die in your sleep, right? Or is that the one in Death of A Salesman, second act, second to last scene, Willy Loman?”
Mr. Sweet As Pie is both sensible and calm under crisis. He’s the guy you want standing next to when you’re stuck in a maddening crowd, seeking a safe exit strategy. It occurs to me we might need to evacuate.
“Do we have to leave the house?” I’m starting to panic, not because I’d hate for my neighbors to catch a glimpse of my mismatched pajamas, but because I don’t want to leave my freshly baked pie behind; I've yet to tuck into it. If I have to spend the rest of the night sitting in the car, the blackberry silk pie is coming with me. The fact that it is a refrigerator pie complicates things. I’ll need a cooler and ice, and the cooler is possibly in the basement or stowed in the garage. I may be unconscious by the time it's located. It appears the pie will need to remain in the fridge. This is sobering news.
My husband is busy opening every window in the house. He assures me the fresh air will dissipate the toxic air. I’m not so certain and lying in the dark, I begin composing my will. This feeble exercise will preoccupy my anxious self. For dramatic effect, I take a few audible breaths and begin mentally divvying up my jewelry, the pie plates, the rolling pins, and my Pyrex mixing bowls. Mr. Sweet As Pie appears to be going back to bed.
“What are you doing? You shouldn’t go back to sleep! What if we don’t wake up?!”
He suggests that if truly concerned, I can wait in the car. Squinting to focus on the digital clock on the other side of the room, it reads 3:30 am.
“Shouldn’t we call somebody?” I implore. “Who do we call in a case like this? Is this something for the fire department or is it gas related? Quick- what’s the number for 9-1-1?”
“It could be any number of things. I’ll call in the morning.”
“Don’t you understand? We might not be here in the morning…” With every window open, I’m about to complain about the drop in temperature. Blindly reaching for the blanket and a quilt, the blurry clock has inched its way to 4:15. With less than an hour before my alarm goes off, sleep is elusive.
“What kinds of things? You said it could be any number of things…”
“Maybe the hot water heater, or the chimney or the gas fireplace…”
Waiting for my alarm, trying not to over think the invisible toxicity that may kill me before sunrise, it occurs to me that Mr. Sweet As Pie has a birthday coming up. I wonder if carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors come packaged in gift sets?
Professional Pie-isms & Seasonal Sarcasm