Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The early bird.

6:20 in the morning is pretty early, but people are starting to move and the the cops and robbers and dog walkers have left the scene. Its still early though, early enough for there to be a chance that you are the only one in the audience for whatever drama might be playing out. I had front row seats at a very compelling get-out-of-my-house-you-whore scenario played out summer before last, the girl did the walk of shame at a dead run.

 I bring my phone with me when I walk Dogger in the dark , not just for my protection but because I know one day I’m going to trip over someone in the dark or see movement where there shouldn't be or one day I’m going to smell smoke.

I was pulling out of my driveway, phone in my purse when I saw a smoke plume in the sky. A lot of smoke. I was leaving for work but I followed the smoke, even though I am slightly ashamed of fire chasing - its an old habit I had hoped I had out grown, but in my defence, it was very early and  in cases like that, I think its better to check it out before I jump to any conclusions about other people and how they define their  personal responsibilities to their fellow man, in my experience we are an irresponsible lot.

I had to make sure 1) it was what it looked like and 2) someone had all ready made the call and if not, do the deed/bang on the door/be a human being. Thankfully,  I wasn't the one to have to make the call or bang on the door or be a human being, the whole neighborhood was in the street with their cells and the occupants were out of the building.  The back of a frame house was all ready fully engulfed in flames and through the open front door I could see the interior was full of black smoke.  Despite all the calls that had been made there were no sirens.

There were a lot of people outside, some too close to the house and the flames. Neighbors, occupants, every other one calling 911 – still no sirens. A woman was screaming on the phone “My house is burning right now! I need shorts! Bring me some shorts! All I am wearing is my shirt. Bring me some shorts!”

Finally , as I drove away, sirens. Too late, the house is gone. By the time the trucks get there, it would have to be used as a training opportunity because there wasn't anything left to save. No mention  in the paper or on the news. When a sexy, sexy tornado destroyed the ladies neighbor's houses two months ago, the press was everywhere.  If you're poor you have to wait for something sexy to happen to you to make people care and house fires in a poor neighborhood aren't sexy enough to warrant the attention. My house burned down and we made the front page. We didn't live in a poor neighborhood.

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