The Noisy Update
When I last left, the neighbors had called security on us for no good reason and for the second time in a month (and the only two times of my life), and I was pretty honked off. That morning, I did go into the apartment office and raised some hell about how we don't even feel comfortable even breathing in our apartment and that we felt a bit harassed and that we are really concerned about the idea of doing nothing wrong but possibly facing eviction at some point if it continues. Apparently the security guy didn't seem to think it was us (hmmm, maybe because of the silence he heard upon arrival since we were, um, not doing anything wrong or loud?), and the apartment office isn't at all concerned about it since they wonder if it could have been someone else. Oddly, even if it was someone else, we heard nothing, and since we could barely even hear the tv and had the subtitles going, we would have heard something unless it was the sound of bullshit piling up around us... In any case, the noise complaint doesn't go in our file, the apartment was going to call the person who complained to try to find out more information and hopefully tell them to back off, and if there is another call, I have zero qualms about going back into the office every time. We are pretty sure (but not positive) which neighbor complained, at least this time, but we don't feel it's safe to deal directly with the neighbor for a few reasons and are afraid that a confrontation could make it worse, at least at this stage. We'll see if that stage changes.
The Enflamed Update
So, all was as it was when we went to bed Wednesday night, quiet as the little mice we've become, and then Tom woke up a little after 2AM to make tinkle (just a test to see if he still reads) and then woke me up and invited me into the bathroom to see if I also thought it kind of smelled like a match. Yah, kind of it did, but I found it barely interesting and not so alarming. I mean, the smoke alarm goes off when I boil water, so if my ass was on fire, I'd probably hear about it. I started to kind of doze off when I heard the sirens likely headed to where someone else lives, and evidently those other people lived very nearby because the sirens were getting closer, not further.
When I could see the reflection of the flash of the lights on the wall, I flew out of bed, suddenly very awake and much more concerned about that harmless little "someone lit a match" smell that was now also in my living room. Even my cozy purple monkey pajamas couldn't keep my legs warm in the ridiculously cold air (and, yes, if you read my guest post, wearing pajamas outside to check on an apartment fire falls under the guidelines of appropriate use of bedware). At our place in Oregon, they would have had half the police, all of the firetrucks and a few ambulances because they loved to over-dispatch, but here there were just 3 firetrucks.
And our building. On fire and smoldering.
A few or nine observations:
- Firemen really do tend to be such a kind bunch. When I walked over to one of these kind faces in a fireman's hat while pointing at our unit and asking if we needed to be concerned or should start evacuating the cats, he kindly leaned in and put his hand on my back while he listened and told me that we'd be fine because they had it, thankfully, contained. It was just a nice gesture, and there is a lesson in there somewhere about how to comfort people.
- While worrying about whether the fire would spread, it was a nice reminder to check on the status of the transfer of my renter's insurance so that it would cover Tom's stuff, and the next day I talked to the agent. Again. It's still not transfered, but I lit a fire under his ass a bit. Horrible pun intended.
- Apartment living scares the hell out of me because it only takes one dumbass to destroy 20+ homes with one act. I've always known this, but I've never actually had firemen spraying at my apartment building until now and have always just tried to tell myself it wouldn't happen. I'm not sure what to tell myself other than that hopefully it won't happen twice?
- The fire was started by an errant cigarette butt, which I find kind of ridiculous, considering I smoked from the age of 12 to 35 and always managed to put them out without offending Smoky the Bear or calling forth fire trucks, but maybe I'm exceptionally brilliant. And judgemental because mistakes happen, but still. Come on, people.
- Oklahoma is quite a bit behind the hippy Northwest (I say that affectionately) on the smoking thing, which I knew just from seeing how very many more people here still smoke but also because of the reaction I got whenever I even mentioned the trend in Oregon toward apartment buildings going non-smoking (which I've written about here a few times back in 2007 when it was kind of new). I'm still not one of those asshole-ish reformed smokers, but I do think this experience kind of tips me more into that camp after that whole waking up to the building on fire thing. One of the ladies in the apartment office kind of laughed and said they'd have very few tenants if that was a rule here, and I bet she is right.
- There is always time to Twitter and Plurk, even when there is a fire.
- I'm grateful that our unit was completely unharmed other than a smoky smell that went away in a day, and my heart goes out to the person that was careless because I'm not sure what happens to the person from here (eviction? paying for damage? other?), but I bet it sucks, and mistakes do happen as long as we keep being human, and things are tough enough right now for so many folks and possibly that folk.
- Tom's sense of smell is to be trusted, and he might have been right about how much better it would have been to have rented a house (another test to see if he's reading).
- I need more coffee, just in case anything of any sort happens because being caffeinated brings joy in the face of a wide assortment of bad things.