I kept hearing this annoying beep beep beep. I walked all over the apartment, it got louder in my room, fainter in the hall. Then I noticed the smoke pouring out of the windows right below mine. It wasn't just the guy on the corner roasting chestnuts.
"Holy shit, ROLLY! 6 is on fire!" I called the lobby.
I mean, it really was a lot of smoke. I grabbed my guitar (I had a wee gig singing a couple of songs for my incredible charismatic Caroline McHugh for her book release of"Never Not a Lovely Moon") I thought, ok, worst case, at least the show will go on...I grabbed my camera and laptop, and ran down the seven flights.
There had to be fifty full on firefighters there. 6 trucks, axes, two ambulances just in case.... (no one was hurt)
That has to be a lonely, adrenaline-laced climb. Who knows what you will find when you start smashing in the windows. I think the heat was so intense on the inside they had to blow out the windows first before the guys in the building would be safe breaking the door down and hosing.
I stood on the street, scraggly, but with my beloved Olson guitar. A crowd was gathering. People were phoning it in, texting friends. The guy next to me admired my beat up guitar case. His 5 year old son seemed unimpressed. Then he said, "I think I've heard you sing." I thought, that's impossible, you don't know who I am, and I'm wearing a dumb hat. He said, "Don't you sing that song about 'crumbs?' or 'crumbs' is somewhere in the song?"
Wow! What are the odds? One more reminder, as my husband always points out, music really does travel far and light. You never know who's listening.
I hadn't thought about the things that might imminently go up in smoke. I felt incredibly lucky, I had everything I needed right there. What a lesson.
I was able to get back into the apartment in time to grab nicer clothes, (ok, I kinda snuck past the clumps of hunky firemen) run down again and make it to Caroline's gorgeous party. And what a gorgeous party.
Of course the moon put on quite a show.
Get her beautiful book.