Last year, I started off 2013 with a very negative attitude. On the night before New Years, my gas water heater started making some very startling popping noises. It sounded as if there was a fawn in my kitchen banging a tiny pot with a tiny wooden spoon. I got up enough courage to gaze into the room with the water heater. Disappointed that there was no fawn, I then knew that I had a problem. Because now I could smell gas, which is never good when you have a gas appliance. Or just in general. I called the gas company emergency line. They said they would send someone right away.
Before hearing the sound, I was on my way to meet some friends for New Years all the way across town, but now I was stuck. I was advised to stay away from the water heater so I went as far away as possible, which was in the next room, and waited, in a sparkly outfit, alone on New Years. I was a little mad because my hair looked GREAT and no one was there to see it. Finally the Gas Company guy showed up. He obviously hated me because he got an emergency call on New Years Eve. I decided we would become best of friends. We didn't.
He performed all of the necessary procedures to confirm there was in fact a gas leak in my water heater. He then put scary red stickers all over the appliance that said DANGER and DON'T FUCKING TOUCH THIS, or the like. He shut down my water heater and said a technician would have to fix it after the New Year. So, no hot water for me.
The technician left and all the paranoia that ever lived inside of me was released. I was suddenly terrified of the gas water heater. I knew it was off but I kept checking it to make sure. The DANGER signs loomed at me and I felt like I had escaped near death. Which in a way I had - gas leaks are no joke. Maybe the sound I heard really was a tiny fawn trying to warn me.
I ended up making it to my friend's house for New Years, masking my terror and pretending like everything was fine and whoooo 2013! If I had a thought bubbling looming over my head at that party, it would have been a picture of a giant gas water heater with sharp teeth and arms flailing about.
Once I got home from the party I opened some windows and sat on my couch and watched television until daylight. I was afraid to sleep for fear of the gas heater magically turning on again (that damn fawn!) Or what if the gas company guy made a mistake? Could I really put my life in his hands? Eventually I had to sleep. I had to trust that the water heater was off and that I was safe. I took a cold cold shower. And went to sleep in the daylight. I woke up in the afternoon and was thankful to be alive.
This was just the beginning of my long battle with the water heater that lived in my apartment. And it was the start of a 2013 full of fear. And when you are always afraid, let me tell you, you don't do much. I mean you do things cause you have to, but you are always doing them with the scary monster thought bubble looming over you.
So towards the end of 2013, I went on a quest to get all of the scary things out of my life. Or at least to conquer them. Not to say that all scary things are bad. It's good to do things that scare you and challenge you. When I did my solo show for the first time I thought I would pass out or pee and wanted to run away and never return. But I got through it and in the end it was one of the best days of my life. No, the good scary things must always be there. But the bad scary things, the ones that take you over and make you feel like you can't do anything or be anything or move one inch, those must be conquered. I finally conquered the water heater. Still working on the monster under my bed that I check for every night. Although I think he might be cool cause he's been there all my life and has let me be. So maybe he's looking out for me.
Anyway, hey, 2014. Hey. You're gonna be alright.