Fire (10)

It happened in the middle of the night. I was asleep, then half aware of too many sounds. Popping noises. Firecrackers? Drunks breaking bottles? I pulled myself out of sleep, turning in the room to orient myself, my ears and brain trying to make sense of things. The adrenaline rush left me trembling almost before I knew what I was looking at. There was a wall of fire to the east, trees gobbled up as I watched. There were snaps and pops and people, not voices I don’t think but the sense of movement, of activity, maybe a shout here and there without words. Now I wonder if really what I heard was mostly just the hiss of the fire, the roaring of the beast. I couldn’t tell how close it was, somehow managed to function in spite of the adrenaline flooding my brain with stupid. Passport, cat carriers, shoes. I cried when I found George, knew he and Bentley were okay. The fire department was fast. No one was hurt. Not physically. Emotions, minds, psyches must be a different story. I was at a distance, one short crow-flying block away, my home kept safe. But I can still see that tower of flame and smoke out the living room window. For days the image was painted inside me, a movie streaming across the horizon at an old drive-in theater, lighting up the sky.

4 thoughts on “Fire (10)

  1. Oh my! I can imagine the trauma of witnessing a fire that close. Glad no one was hurt physically at least.

  2. We were all very lucky. There was no wind and the fire folks came quickly. It just blows me away how much of an impact it had on me when I was still removed from it and unscathed. I can’t imagine how the people closer to the experience manage to cope.

  3. so glad you and the kitties were safe. Even so, traumatic to experience the sights and sounds. Glad you wrote about this.

  4. This is one of those times I will likely try again and again over time to capture in words. I wrote quite a bit about it, and dwelled on it a good deal more. There were so many levels to the experience—the panic, the fear, the way life can knock you flat in a moment, turn on a dime, what really matters, the ability to be grateful, on and on. Thanks, Laurie.

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