In fact, I think of it everytime I see a fireplace.
It's burned into my memory.
And it makes me think of how much of a frickin' nerd I am.
~~fuzzy black lines, fade to black~~
The year was 1994. I was in graduate school at E.mory at the time. I lived out in Lithonia, an east Atlanta suburb, with a couple of friends.
I was excited because I was going to see my man that night. He lived way out in Vinings, a west Atlanta suburb, some 45 minutes away. This was nice, because our schedules were so different (he worked at night and I was in school all day). So whenever he had a night off, we would hook up. Plus, his roommate was out of town, which meant we had the apartment all to ourselves.
It was a bittercold night. I don't remember the day, but I remember that I had an old '73 Nova, and I really had to crank up that 20-year-old heater in that old car, just to keep warm (I had a big hole in the floorboard of the car, and air would rush in, you see). So when I got to his place, we decided to get a fire going and to watch television. He even cooked dinner for the two of us.
Those were the good ol' days, several years before we got married.
We were sooo young. Soooooo in love. ~sigh~
So, we'd been watching television, and we'd been drinking beer and wine. (I have NO idea how I ended up drinking wine, because I was not a wine drinker. I preferred beer, Boones, and malt liquor. Shoot, maybe it was that Strawberry hills Boones in my wine glass,lol). SOMEHOW (lol) we ended up on the floor in front of the fireplace fooling around.
One thing led to another, and we ended up making love on the floor in front of the fireplace. It was good, I must say, especially after spending 12 hours that day in the lab. I was a happy chick (maybe it was too much wine, lol).
There was no soft music. We were bootleg, you see. That means getting it on in the indigo glow of the television set.
So we're laying there afterwards, wrapped up in a tacky bedspread, basking in the afterglow, you know, talking, kissing and what not. . .
all of a sudden. . .
I sat straight up.
"What's wrong?" my man asked.
I pointed hard at the fireplace. He had placed my glass of wine over on the hearth of the fireplace. I frantically pointed at the glass, but was not immediately able to find the words.
"What's wrong?" he asked again.
"GET THE WINE!" I yelled. "GET THE WINE!"
"Why?" he asked. By this time, he was sitting up too, looking at me like I was crazy.
"It's too close to the fireplace!"
He looked at the glass then back at me. "No, it's not."
By this time, my heart is beating real fast and I'm really panicked.
"The ethanol!" I screamed. "Ethanol catches fire!"
"What?" he said.
"Wine contains ethanol! And ethanol catches fire! Move the wine before it catches fire!!"
"It's okay," he said. "Look, it's far enough away. And there's not even that much in the glass. It won't catch fire."
"No it's not okay! Ethanol, ethanol boils at. . .Ethanol boils at. . ."
Then I started crying REAL hard.
"I, I, I can't remember the boiling point of ethanol!!!"
I remembered my man snickering at the time, and he layed back down.
"Acetone boils at 56 degrees," I said through all my crying and hard gulps of air. "And ethanol boils at. . . I CAN'T REMEMBER THE BOILING POINT OF ETHANOL!"
He sat back up again and put his arms around me. He was doing his best to hold back his laughter.
"It's not funny. The wine is too close to the fireplace!!"
"Okay Lee, I'll move the wine." He reached over me and carefully picked up the wine glass and placed it on the coffee table. "Okay calm down now, the wine glass is on the coffee table. See? Look at it. It's alright now."
I looked from the wine to the fireplace, then back to the wine. I stopped crying. He laid me back on the floor and patted me on the head. I was a sniveling mess the rest of the night, scared that he'd put the wine back on the hearth of the fireplace.
That next morning, when I was getting ready for school, he asked me if I was alright. And he had that look in his eye, like he was doing ALL he could not to bust out laughing.
He walked me out to the car. I remembered it was around 5:30 a.m., and all was quiet outside.
I sat in the car, my hands firmly gripping the stirring wheel. I wouldn't even look at him. "Go head on and laugh," I said.
He leaned in the window and gave me a kiss on the cheek. He stood back up and got his laugh on. "It's alright. You just a nerd, that's all."
Yes I am... the ultimate nerd.
My man picked on me for a LONG time about that incident, even had the nerve to tell his friends about it. THEY even laughed at me.
And even though I didn't find it funny at the time, I can laugh about it now. . .
I talked about it with some of my fellow students at school the day after it happened.
After that, for a long time, the big joke was "What's the boiling point of ethanol, LadyLee?"
**LadyLee kicks the HARD eyeroll.**
Hmm. . .
Looking back, I wonder why I was so distraught?
Maybe school was stressing me all out. Maybe it was the mishaps in the lab... Or maybe I was just really concerned about that wine igniting from a spark from a flame. Maybe I was just drunk, and feeling uh, a bit TOO good, lol. I don't know.
One thing I can say for sure after THAT ... I am the Ultimate Nerd.