Today I went to a co-worker’s house to get my taxes done. I left finding out that I owe the IRS nearly $350. As I walked to my car, my friend apologized for “not having better news” and I smiled back at her and said, “well, nothing will surprise me now!”

I am currently sitting in the coffee shop 3 blocks from my apartment. I’m sitting here in my slippers with only my phone and keys.

My building is on fire. My building is on fire!!! And I didn’t even think to grab Lucy or Barrie or even my wallet.

As it starts to grow darker, I can see the flashing lights from the 7 fire trucks down the street. I wonder when I’ll be allowed back. When they knocked on my door and told me to leave the building, I was on the phone with my dad and really wasn’t thinking straight – it’s like I thought it was an AU fire drill or a minor kitchen blaze or a joke or  something. But once I got outside and I could see the smoke pouring from the windows of 305, and then from the roof above 305, I knew it was a little more serious. Soon, I was bonding with the neighbors… the gay guys from across the hall came running out with their cats in tow… the lesbian she-men from downstairs lumbered down the alley, hugging themselves to keep their nipples from getting hard… and all the other artists and vagrants and pot-smokers came out onto the sidewalk as well. And of course, it’s really cold – after a relatively mild winter so far, it’s gotten briskly freezing this weekend, and until now, I was enjoying the dusting of snow and  low temperatures.

The fire chief came over and wanted to get our names and stuff and apologized for not having a place to get us in out of the cold… the she-man (who’s name is apparently Stephy) volunteered that we could all get in her/his van… uh, yeah, no. (mental images of “It puts the lotion on it’s skin!”) At this point, I was pretty cold and getting very annoyed with a certain young professional male who was telling us we’d all be lucky if there was only 75% devastation and smoke damage. Meanwhile, the man who owns the apartment that’s on fire was standing there in a wife beater, sweat pants and sandals when smart-ass young professional offered him his coat. I thought it somewhat of a valiant offer for someone so impressed with himself, until he started taking EVERYTHING out of the pockets, even used kleenex and gum, before he’d give it to the guy… so much for charity.

So here I sit, drinking a cup of coffee the funky coffee lady gave me for free and wishing the lights would go away so I can trot home. I think of the pizza I just finished baking… it’s sitting on my coffee table, waiting to be eaten. I know I’m taking this way more lightly than I probably should… and I truly will be upset if my bird is dead or my wallet stolen or my great-grandma’s kitchen table ruined… but there’s really nothing I can do, right? Nothing I can do… except write about it on xanga.

I hope Pittsburgh loses. Then at least I’ll know bad things don’t really come in groups of three.

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5 thoughts on “

  1. Maryann!  The whole home-on-fire is hard enough, but when you’re left with nothing to do but sit and wait to find out about it… that’s rough.  Wish I was close enough to offer more than sympathy…

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