I didn’t set out trying to get electrocuted.
If you’ve ever been electrocuted, then you know how it feels and you would know that that should never be a human being’s end goal. Ever.
But that’s precisely what happened about a week ago on a rollicking Saturday night.
Let’s preface it by saying I was Tired. Like, real tired. A couple night’s of bad sleep, too much work, I was pretty delirious. So at the rockin’ hour of 11-something on a Saturday night, I turned to my sweet husband and said, that’s it, I give up, I’m going to bed.
“Remember to unplug the heater,” said J.
Now, the heaters in our apartment are sensitive little beings. We usually sleep with the heat off, which is fine, but when the temperature drops below a certain degree, the heater will randomly blow air through its vents, even when turned off, to prevent everything from freezing. So throughout the evening, because the heater is on my side of the bed, I will get randomly blasted with ice cold air. It’s as fabulous as it sounds.
So we finally came to the conclusion that oh, you could just unplug it, problem solved.
I stumbled into the bedroom and pressed the OFF switch. Then I reached down and pulled on the plug which is a HUGE three-pronged crazy thing in a HUGE custom-made socket. It wouldn’t budge. So because I’m not a quitter, I just thought, I KNOW! I’ll use BOTH my hands and pull HARDER on it, not even stopping to think that the heater, at that moment, was STILL blowing out its final remnants of hot air. As in, I had pressed OFF, but it wasn’t really OFF.
And so it came to be, that in my approximation, when I took my two hands and grabbed that plug and both of my index fingers made contact with one of the metal prongs, 10 zillion watts of electricity jolted through my body.
Let me tell you…
Aside from some static electricity mini zaps, I have never before felt anything like that. It zipped through my index fingers, up into my wrists and all the way down to my toes. I screamed as if being murdered, because I was pretty sure I was and jumped back about three feet into the air. J came running and found me hysterical holding out my index fingers to him, gulping for air, my heart beating like crazy.
“ELECTROCUUUUUUUUUTION!!!” I wailed.
“I-I-I ELECTRO-HICCUP-CUTED-HICCUP-M-M-MYSELF ON THE P-P-PLUUUUUUUG!”
J sat me down on the couch and calmly looked into my eyes, speaking slowly, as if to a very stupid animal.
“Do I need to call…an AM-BU-LANCE?”
“I DON’T KNOW!!!!” I yelped. “AM I GOING TO DIE?”
And it was a dramatic question, of course. But the fear was very real as my heart was racing and my body was on high alert.
“I think,” said J, as sweet as can be, “that in these types of situations, if you were going to die…you probably would’ve done so by now.”
“Your heart would’ve stopped right away.”
“I mean, at least I think so. Do you want me to Google it?”
“I’M DYYYINNNNNNNNG!” I wailed and buried my face in J’s t-shirt.
We sat like that for a long time.
My whole body felt so strange. The memory of the electricity stuck to my skin, I could feel the jolts in my fingertips still and the warm buzzing and burning sensation throughout my arms.
After sitting in silence for quite awhile, I looked up at J and said, “Remember when I electrocuted myself?” and started to laugh.
“DO NOT,” said J. “THAT WAS NOT FUNNY.”
But the corners of his mouth were already turning up at the ends.
“YES IT IS,” I insisted. “THAT WAS RIDICULOUS.”
“Laura, come on…”
Then he ventured out loud…
“Do you think your hair stood up when it happened?”
And that was just enough to push us to the brink of a new kind of hysteria, and the laughter started and couldn’t be stopped. I told him I wished someone had taken a picture so I could’ve seen it, wondering if you could’ve seen my skeleton like you can in cartoons.
After about an hour, I made my way back to bed, staying as far away from the heater as I possibly could.
“I think I’m going to let you deal with that from now on,” I told J, as he tucked me in.
I fell asleep with phantom pain in my wrists but laughter in my head and my love the next room over, checking in every now and then to make sure I was alright.