Stupidity lessons

· long story short

I was really not at my best yesterday. Everything felt like a struggle. I forgot simple things when shopping, brought home fruit with gouges or visible patches of mold on them, knocked over two beers next to the refrigerator so hard that I loosened their caps and they started foaming up all over the linoleum.
Getting ready to grill some nice little salmon steaks and asparagus out back, as I often do on shopping days this time of year, I put on a different shirt, one that could handle a few splatters, but I ignored the thought in the back of mind that barbecuing in bare feet is a dumb idea.
Inevitably, one of the mesquite pieces was too big and when I poured out the coals I decided to split it with one of the banged-up old garden-or-kitchen implements I use to manipulate the grill. Mesquite pops, though. It’s full of water, I guess. It often throws off a steady stream of sparks punctuated by the occasional popping of pockets in the wood. When I broke up the large piece of mesquite, though, it popped in a much bigger way. Basically, it exploded. Pieces went flying everywhere. I could see them singeing the wooden surface (just the topmost of a stack of old wooden palettes) and I could hear them sizzling, probably roasting one of the little green weedy plants like nasturtiums or even summer squash the push up through the cracks in our unused driveway.
Sparks and hot coals were everywhere, and as I danced around trying to scoop up visible pieces and set them back in the weber, I stepped on a tiny supernova and – like a dinosaur slowly perceiving an even at the end of my body furthest from my brain – I began howling and cursing, hopping around on my right foot, brushing at the instep arch of my left foot, trying to dislodge the tiny bit off hellfire searing itself into a makeshift callus.
I never did get it out. The little cindernugget is still embedded in the white blister closely packed around it. I kept ice or a coldpack on it most of the evening and whenever I gave it a rest from the cold it would start to hurt again like hell. That wimper-making pain – Mommy make it stop – kind of persistent torture. By bedtime, though it felt manageable and this morning I forgot about it for a while.
You should have seen me, though, finishing the fish and doing the asparagus, hobbling around with three ice cubes stuffed down my sock, afraid to tell B what an idiot I had been.