Monthly Archives: December 2003

fireplace…

Tomi called me at work yesterday to read her blog. She had written a letter to Chuck Pahlaniuk, and got a surprise response in the mail.

Read all about Tomi’s letter and package here. Scroll down to Nov. 2.

Read all about the package she got from Chuck here. Scroll down to Dec. 4.

After a crazy night last night, I get an e-mail from Mark. He’s sent his own letter to Chuck. Well, not to be outdone, I sit down and write mine:

Dear Chuck:

I was going to write to you about the structure of your novels, the rhythms of repeated phrases, where your ideas some from. But sitting here with a hangover, I think I’ll just tell you about last night.

So I get a call at work yesterday from Tomi Clarke. “Read my blog,” she says.

“Is everything okay?” I ask, feeling a little guilty that I hadn’t looked at her blog in over 2 weeks.

“Yes! Just read it!”

The title of Tomi’s blog entry is “Chuck Palahniuk is God” and contains an ecstatic description of receiving the package you sent her in response to her letter. If you want to read it, it’s at http://lolascribbles.blogspot.com. Wow. You really made one girl very, very happy.

Anyway, on my way home last night, I stop at the corner store for a bottle of wine and a Duraflame log. My plan: a cozy night by the fire with a glass of wine and the last half of Diary, which I started a couple of days ago. Some things I hadn’t taken into consideration: I don’t really drink, so a little wine goes a very long way; I just moved into this house and haven’t tested out the fireplace yet; I have no idea where the smoke alarm is.

I light the fire, pour myself a glass, start reading, and am drunk within 15 minutes. That’s when then the smoke alarm goes off. So I’m stumbling around in a haze (haze of drunkenness and also haze of Duraflame smoke!) trying to find the smoke alarm. Not in the kitchen. Not in the living room. There it is, in the front hallway of all places, but it’s too high up to reach, and I don’t have a ladder. I close the living room door, and thankfully, the smoke alarm stops blaring.

Now I have to figure out what to do about all this smoke. Is the flew shut? I can’t figure it out without burning my arm off. I’ll just have to put out the fire. Um… how? Water! I fill up a big bottle and pour it into the fireplace. It puts out the fire all right, and then runs out of the fireplace onto the hardwood floor — skanky black water — getting closer to the rug! Getting closer to the CDs sitting on the floor! Oh my god! I’m drunk and I have to soak up this water! I’m grabbing paper towels from the kitchen and trying to soak up the water and starting to get the spins. Man, I am a lightweight drinker! Shit! This is NOT the evening I envisioned.

Whatever. I climb into bed with Diary, determined to redeem some pleasure from this night. It works! My head is spinning. I feel like I’m going to throw up. The house smells like hell. But your book carries me away to a magical world where things are way weirder and grosser than they ever are in mine.

Thanks for being there for us, Chuck!

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