We were told that we made the news yesterday. Our building, not us. But it kind of feels like us.
An apartment or two is now, literally, in ashes. Five floors lost their windows in the firefighting that took yesterday morning's blaze under control. Our hallways are smoky. I blew black snot yesterday. As far as we know, no one was seriously injured from the flames.
I saw a picture of the blaze on a neighbor's iPhone when we settled at a local diner to wait out the situation. The orange red was blooming and huge. The pitch black smoke plume was frightening. As the firefighters emerged from the building, red-faced, with sweat dripping down their faces, reality was as real as it gets.
But within seconds, smoke had clouded our huge living room window and Soeur entered full-blown panic mode. I threw on a bra (and in my haste, I'm pretty sure I flashed Soeur's boyfriend while twisting a shirt on over the said bra. Oops!). Soeur was reporting that we couldn't use one stairwell because there was too much smoke. She was on the verge of losing her shit. I was fighting with my shirt. Her boyfriend was courteously waiting for me to finish my business and leave with them. But we were safe and totally fine.
A few hours later, we were back inside. We brewed coffee. We baked. We wiped and cleaned the black as best we could. We took naps. Williamsburg did not happen. Cindy Sherman at MoMA did not happen. Uniqlo next to MoMA also did not happen.
The smell of smoke is uncomfortable, but, hey, our apartment's intact. It's Monday. It's a new day. It's a new week. And I am grateful that it is here.