I had a very long, bad day. That’s really my only excuse for not noticing the strong stench of smoke permeating the air.
The heater must be turning on, probably just some dust burning.
As the smoky smell became stronger I became vaguely aware of sirens and flashing lights outside.
There’s a fire station a few blocks from here. That or it has to be spillover from all the politicians attending the Christmas tree lighting in DC today.
The low rumbling of vehicles in the background barely registered. I was vaguely aware of flashing lights outside my window. As the smoke poured out of my neighbor’s house, and the fire trucks parked themselves outside my window, I didn’t even move from my chair.
It was a sharp knock on my door that finally wrested me from my apathetic haze. One of the roommates more aware of his surroundings than me proceeded to inform me of the situation.
Lethargic no more I jumped from the chair to the window and proceeded to string to together a chain of expletives that would have made my Irish ancestors proud. Blue and red blinking lights flashed through thick clouds of gray smoke pouring out of the side of the house. Firefighters slowly made there way inside the house and a crane from one of the fire trucks was swinging toward the second floor.
After mixing together a few more expletives (this time mixed together with some biblical figures for good measure), I proceeded to go outside for a better look. The fire and police department limited how close I could get, but the damage didn’t seem extensive. From what I could tell no one was hurt.
Moments like this are supposed to shame us into being thankful for what we have. It’s supposed to make our life’s problems seem insignificant. Right now I’m still angry about my life’s “insignificant” problems, but am equally angry with myself for my sense of observation failing me. Danger reared its ugly head today and luckily for me it went after the neighbor. When it comes back, maybe a little closer this time, will I casually dismiss it again?