party and my mother was going to the big New Year's bash our next-door
neighbor Angie was throwing.
My mother had been going back and forth about it all week. She had
never left me home alone before, but since the party was right next door
and she wasn't planning to be gone too long, she decided it would be OK.
How much trouble could I get into in two hours?
Mom had also decided to have King spend the night in the laundry room.
King was the family's yard dog -- a 7-year-old German shepherd who had
seen the inside of our house maybe twice in his entire existence. But the
last New Year's Eve, the gunfire had freaked him out so badly he tried to
gnaw his way through the back door for safety. How much damage could he
do in the laundry room?
"If anything comes up, anything at all, come over and get me! I'll be
right next door," my mother told me as she put on her coat. "Just watch
TV, OK? Don't get into any mischief! Promise you'll be good?"
"I promise, Mom!"
"Happy New Year, mijo."
"Happy New Year, Mom!" And she left.
The first thing I did was start playing with the stove. This was back
during my potions phase, when I would mix whatever kinds of liquids I
could get my hands on to see if I could make a concoction that glowed. I
had discovered that if I mixed vinegar with some of my sister's beauty
supplies, it would bubble. I had been wanting to see what it would do at
full boil for ages.
As I mixed equal parts vinegar and hydrogen peroxide together in a
sauce pan, I heard King anxiously scratching at the laundry room door. My
mother had sternly warned me not to let him out of the laundry room, but
I needed a witness to my experiments, so I let him in. We usually gave
King a bath about once every two or three months, which was the primary
reason why he wasn't allowed into the house.
King was beside himself with joy. He ran around the kitchen, sniffing
everything in sight. Then he ran around the living room and the den,
scratching and sniffing at the furniture and plants. Then he ran into my
mom's room, jumped on the bed and fell straight to sleep. This was
probably also something he had wanted to do for ages.