Last Thursday afternoon, my friend Kim had just arrived for a visit with me and the dogs. I went out to let her in from the guest parking area, and as we returned to my apartment we could smell what we thought was incense. Within minutes, I was calling 911. We grabbed the dogs and ran through a hallway filled with dense black smoke to safety. The whole episode was swift and terrifying. But we were fortunate; no one was hurt, or worse.
Several apartments were destroyed in the fire, which started in the unit adjacent to ours. The fire burned up, but the smoke filled our place, coating every square inch of everything with acrid soot. Walls, floors, furniture, clothes, rugs, art, electronics… the smoke found its way into closed closets and drawers. But again, we’re fortunate to have insurance that will cover the restoration or replacement of these things.
We stayed with friends for a few days over the weekend. Their upstairs neighbor just happened to be spending this week with family in Boston, so here we are, taking care of her chocolate lab, Luna. Our dogs Charlie, Bernardo and Tiger are rolling with it – but I know they are wondering, What the hell is going on here?!
That same thought has crossed my mind once or twice in the last few days. But we managed to find an apartment to sublet for October and half of November, just a few blocks from our smoked-out mess of a home. And hoping that will be enough time to get it all shipshape. There have been a few other mini-dramas along the way, but I am too tired to conjure them for you tonight. Perhaps another time, when I can see more of the humor in it all.
Today was kind of funny, though. I was scheduled for a colonoscopy and was tempted to cancel, but the prospect of being zonked out on high-grade anesthesia was too good to pass up. I asked them if they could wake me in November.
Some wisdom I earned this week that I can now pass along to you:
1. If you smell smoke, get out. If Kim and I had waited even one more minute, it might have been too late.
2. Things are just things. We all know this. When we are reminded, it can be an oddly comforting lesson.
3. If you are old enough to be needing a routine colonoscopy, stop worrying about it. I would rather have ten colonoscopies than one teeth cleaning. You do the ‘cleanse’ the night before by drinking a month’s supply of laxatives mixed in a gallon of fruit juice. Catch up on your favorite Netflix series and be prepared to hit the pause button. Frequently. The next morning you go into the hospital, lots of very kind people fuss over you, and the next thing you know you’re waking up and being given some cookies and apple juice. It’s over. And then you can pig out on lunch – you’ve earned it.
Best week ever? Hardly. But the thing I was dreading wasn’t so bad after all. And the dreadful thing could have been far worse.
The End (so far)