Sometimes you feel really, really lucky.
Today at work, our on-call called in. We have an off-site on-call who checks in with us periodically, just to see if we’re still alive, if all the employees showed up for their shifts, if the place blew up in a random missile attack, etc. Today’s on-call was CAZ. That’s not her real name. We go by initials there. And strangely enough, those aren’t her initials, as she got married a few years ago. But her new last name doesn’t sound as good as saying “CAZ!” does. So those of us who’ve been there a while still call her CAZ. Yes. Yes, that’s a thing that happens at my part-time job. (I don’t go by my initials there, only because my initials don’t sound good if you say them. I’m just Amy. At one point, there were like five Amys but I outlasted them ALL. I would say “I win!” but I’ve been working at this place for eight and a half years so I don’t think that’s a win for anyone, as that means I haven’t had a true weekend for eight and a half years.)
“HELLO CAZ!” I said. And we chatted a little, because I do so like CAZ.
She warned me that one of the apartment complexes we answer for was on fire, so we would probably be getting a lot of calls on that account.
Which one? Oh, not a big deal, just the one where I live, that’s all.
“CAZ, do we know more about this fire? Like, what BUILDING is this fire in?” I said, in a freaked-out tone.
“Why? Oh, so we can tell callers what’s up when they call. GOOD IDEA!”
“No. Um. I live there?”
“Oh. CRAP. Um. Let me ask my husband. He saw it on Facebook. HUSBAND!” she yelled. It is one of CAZ’s more endearing qualities. She’s really loud. She’s an all-capser, if anyone is. “DID FACEBOOK TELL YOU WHAT BUILDING’S ON FIRE? He says no. Sorry!”
So all day at work, I was freaking merrily the hell out. I don’t hang with anyone in my complex so I wasn’t going to call anyone, and at one point we tried calling the front desk because callers were calling us all “NO ONE’S ANSWERING OVER THERE” but no one answered so I couldn’t even ask them what was up. I assume the front desk guy, who’s super-timid (he’s like a Dumbcat of a human) saw the fire and scurried away into his own personal pots-and-pans cupboard.
I kept thinking of Dumbcat. And all my things. I really like my things. And then Dumbcat again, who, the one time we had a fire at my old place, was SO SCARED. And my things. But mostly my Dumbcat. And I did my job, but I kept thinking, “Maybe you have no home to go to? Maybe the ENTIRE PLACE burned down. Maybe you have no more things or cat. Maybe you have your car and what you’re wearing. You have renter’s insurance, sure, but you can’t buy a lifetime’s worth of things. Or Dumbcat. Dumbcat is worth more than ALL the money.”
I drove home kind of crazily. Sorry, other people on the road. You were driving TOO SLOWLY. I wanted to know if I had a home.
I had a home.
(The building that burned, however, wasn’t far from mine. Only a few away. It’s a HUGE complex. Building after building after building.)
It was all over the news. 4 apartments burned. REALLY burned, too, not just a little singed or whatever.
They don’t know how it started, only that it started in the top floor apartment and burned four of the places to a crisp. Like, nothing left. The Red Cross is helping the people without homes. I didn’t see anything when I drove in (the building that burned is past my driveway) but WHOO does it smell like smoke around here.
In news of “everything is an excuse for getting blasted,” my neighbors decided to have a “WE DIDN’T BURN UP!” party, and a gaggle of like ten of them got drunker and drunker in the parking lot. In-between my frantic pettings of Dumbcat (“OMG, my good, good boy, who isn’t dead, how much do I love you? SO MUCH. More than ALL THE THINGS. You are the BEST.” “MOM! This are the BEST PETTINGS!1!!! PURR PURR o no I falled off the cowch from hapinesss”) I peered at them like a creeper. Things got super-loud about three hours after I got home. One of the very classy partygoers decided it was time to BE VERY LOUD and SCREAM OBSCENITIES and BANG ON OTHER PEOPLE’S CARS (I was all, “Don’t you touch my car. Don’t you even. DON’T TOUCH IT” but he didn’t, I don’t think) and then I wandered off because other people’s insanity due to overimbibing got boring to me in the mid 90s but when I heard someone say “GET IN THE CAR DUDE WE GOTTA GO!” I peeked out and he sped off and there was a guy on the ground in a puddle of blood with a girl hovering over him all “You ok, buddy?” and the other partygoers were scurrying around cleaning up detritus because you could hear cop cars coming.
YAY! BAD BOYS BAD BOYS WHATCHU GONNA DO?
The cops showed up, and then an ambulance, and they took the Victim of the Fire Party away on one of those backboard thingies that you strap people to when they’ve had a spinal injury and then the lady who lives in that place went around apologizing to people for the ruckus and that was the end of that.
I just kept thinking of this:
OMG I am totally laughing so hard I can’t type properly right now sdohgoisgohsdogih.
So: all in all, it all worked out. I have a home. I have a DUMBCAT in the home. (Who doesn’t like the smoky smell; he’s all sniffing near the windows and making his sour-face and running off.) I feel very, very fortunate. (I feel terrible for the people who lost everything, though. Fires scare the bejeebers out of me. When I was little, I used to have panic attacks about our house going up in flames. Dad was all, “WE WOULD BE FINE I WOULD SAVE YOU” but we had to watch some terrible movie about fires in your home and I WAS SO SCARED so I was all, “DAD YOU COULD NOT SAVE ME FROM A WALL OF HUNGRY CHILD-EATING FLAMESSSSSS” and he just shook his head and walked away which I think is what happened with most of my childhood, to be honest.)
Tomorrow I am going on an adventure to meet the most lovely Bronwyn and her EQUALLY-LOVELY fella. I am excited. We will have an adventure of epic proportions! Or just eat dinner and talk and talk, but that can be totally adventurey if you’re meeting someone for the first time you’ve known for years on the interwebs.
Happy Sunday, everyone. May you all have a good thing happen that makes you realize you are very, very lucky to be alive and well and have what you do have in life.