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.