The Time That Ravioli Was My Excuse to Miss Class

The first time you meet me, you might have a few different impressions. Either I come across bitchy and cold, extremely talkative, or quiet and nice. You may think, hmm, Megan seems interesting, with lots of hobbies and passions. Maybe she likes being active, or exploring, or doing something entirely different?

In actuality, one of the major parts of my personality is that I have a terrible sense of balance. Just like all those other quirky girls you may have met…except I can’t. fucking. do. anything. without. spilling. shit.

It isn’t a quirk, but instead a stark and daunting reality that every day, I might royally fuck something up. I could probably bore you with all the times I’ve spilled mustard on a white shirt, or spilling coffee down my freshly laundered work pants. I could tell you the tale of tripping over absolutely nothing while walking across my college campus. But, those stories are fucking boring. I’ve found that if I don’t do one small clumsy thing a day, all the clumsiness will build and the universe will be out of balance and I will have to do one BIG, ENORMOUSLY clumsy thing. Here is just one (with many fucking more to follow or until I learn how to not fall):

The Rocketing Ravioli

Have you ever had a day where everything goes fucking wrong? I’ve had too many to fucking count, but here’s the one I so desperately try to forget, but that friends will bring up time and time again if my ego becomes too inflated. This story usually brings me back to earth with a fucking thud.

Back in college, I usually tried to juggle too many things at once, as one is wont to do when they overload their schedule with 15 units of classes on only two days of the week while working a part-time job on all other days. I thought that, with two years of college experience under my belt, I knew it all. I was a fucking rock star. I could balance homework, papers, a balanced diet, AND a life worthy of social media all at the same time. I was at my fucking peak.

One day, I was intensely hungry, like always, and craved Chef Boyardee ravioli. I calculated I had about fifteen minutes to make it, cool it, eat it, and be ready to catch the shuttle to take me to class from our one bedroom apartment. I sighed in relief at the knowledge that I was growing up to be a successful adult, with a whole life of possibility ahead of me. So I made the damn ravioli.

I had placed all the shit I needed right next to the couch so I could easily grab it and go once I was done. I also had a pile of clothes I had been folding and piling the night before, and let’s face it, I probably wouldn’t move them until I actually needed to wear them. My pristine black and white couch with my comfy white pillow looked so inviting, and I couldn’t wait to enjoy my pre-class snack.

The microwave dinged – the bowl was hot as fuck. I grabbed a towel and cradled the bowl in my hands. The warmth of my meal radiated into my fingers, and I slowly walked across our beige carpeted floor to my already prepared seat on the couch.

Then, it happened – a moment that I could almost sense was about to happen, a premonition that turned into a sudden realization as my fingers lost their grip – and for a whole second the word “FUCK” seemed to flash on like a brilliant marquee in my mind – as the bowl slipped from the towel I was holding and tipped upside down, rocketing ravioli in all directions of my living room.

The noodly meat squares plopped onto the ground in a sad lump, while the damn sauce seemed to ricochet off of nearby objects and grow exponentially in distance and damage. The reddish brown liquid first hit the beige carpet and soaked into the dirty recesses below in a deep pool. Next, it hit the pile of clothes that sat beside the couch, including one of my favorite sweaters on the very top and my white work pants, now destroyed in the mayhem. It splattered onto the side of the couch like blood spurting from a crime show victim, and somehow a huge glob hit my beautiful, dainty white pillow like a fucking rocket, seeping into the fabric. How the fuck had specks of Boyardee managed to get on the wall, the lamp, the coffee table, AND the window? Steam from the radiated microwaved meal rose from every area it touched, like the remnants of a fire slowly burning out. Sauce splatter littered my pants and the reek of fucking processed beef and tomatoes filled my nostrils.

I stood among the wreckage of my now burnt orange apartment and sighed. I wasn’t going to make it to fucking class that day.

pure evil

Pierce County Sheriff's deputies and Graham, Wash., firefighters work around the smoldering remains of a house, where, according to a sheriff's spokesman, three bodies were found. The bodies are believed to be Josh Powell and his two sons. An explosive fire occurred moments after a Child Protective Services worker brought the two boys to the home for a supervised visit.

it was a great fire

consuming

flesh freckled with ash

too quick to scream,

they are

consumed,

too young to die,

they are

murdered,

by loving father’s hand.

and banging on clouded glass

and locked door,

she begs and pleads for their lives,

to hold them in her arms,

to take them far far away.

she blames herself,

unable to save them as

the glass shatters

the boom echoes

consuming fire

burning them alive

father and

sons and

flame

~

(Photo above by John Froschauer / Associated Press)

I wrote this poem this morning after reading one of the headlines in the LA Times about the suicide-murder in Washington, where Josh Powell set his home on fire during a scheduled visitation with his two young sons.

Powell was under investigation for the disappearance of his wife Susan two years ago, and had just lost main custody of his two sons – Braden, five years old, and Charles, seven years old. The night his wife disappeared during a snowstorm in Utah, Powell loaded his two sons into his car for what he called a “midnight camping trip”, and his wife has not been seen since. Recently, the two boys started recollecting what had happened that night, revealing that their mother was in the trunk of the car, and that their father and mother went into the woods and she never came out.

On the morning of the fire incident, a Child Protective Services worker brought the two boys to Powell’s home in Graham, Washington, but once she began to follow the children into his home, Powell shut and locked the door. Smelling gas and fearing for their safety, the worker notified her supervisor and then called 911 right as the fire began. She pounded on the doors and windows to no avail; the fire burned quickly, killing Powell and his two sons. Utah police believe the fire was intentionally started by Powell and is as good as a confession to his wife’s disappearance; they have vowed that this incident will not end the search for Susan Powell.

I think what affected me the most was reading that the Child Protective Services worker was “being treated for ‘grave emotional trauma’”. I cannot even imagine the sense of helplessness she must have felt as she watched the house burst into flames, knowing that no matter how hard she tried, she could not save those little boys she had seen just moments earlier. I could feel her pain resonate inside me. I empathized with her and knew I had to write this poem. My heart goes out to the family and friends of the two young boys and their missing mother.

Mark and Pam Figliola place flowers and a card at a candlelight memorial for the two sons of Josh Powell and Susan Cox at Carson Elementary School in Puyallup, Wash., where the older of the boys attended school. Police said that the two boys and their father, Josh Powell, were killed when Powell apparently blew up a house with all three of them inside Sunday afternoon. Powell's wife, Susan, went missing from their West Valley City, Utah, home in December 2009.

A candlelight vigil for Braden and Charles at the elementary school they attended. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)

Read the full stories here:

Explosive fire kills husband, two sons of missing Utah woman

Utah police vow to continue probe into Susan Powell’s disappearance