December 9th, 2007

Fortunate To Still Be Alive

Something has happened here that put my life back into perspective. As if I needed anything else to worry about. Remember that incident with the microwave and the charred cheese burger? Well, I've got that, times ten.

I'm sleeping and in the midst of some peaceful dream. Because of the nature of what was to happen next, I am not now able to remember what that dream was about.

Something snaps me to full attention. It's only 4:40 AM, and I'm tottering around my room when, what's that? A smoke detectorr? No way. But then, I do smell something.

Curious, I open my door an inch, and a wave of heat passes directly over my head and into the room. I turn around, and it's as if I can feel the heat suspended in midair with my hands, even though nothing is burning.

Realizing what is happening out in the living room and kitchen, I am rooted to the spot in sheer terror. The guy who has been staying with my cousin and me, we'll call him G, finally comes barreling back to snatch me out of the room in nothing but some shorts, a long sleve shirt and my barefeet, and we go onto the porch.

Sitting around in a miserable little circle, G tells us that he was preparing to cook some bacon and grits. He'd just put a pot onto the stove and turned it on low, when whoosh! Everything went up in flames. Since we were lacking a fire extinguisher, he had to use something called Grease Lightning, which I guess is a cooking spray of sorts. I'm not sure about that. Anyway, he did manage to put out the fire, but pretty much everything on that side of the kitchen was destroyed.

The air was thick with smoke earlier, but we allowed it to air out for about two hours, with fans blowing and doors open. Then, as a further safety precaution, we slept on the couch cushions on the living room floor. The landlord has already surveyed the damage, and he's going to call the electrition and the fire department so they can come over and check it all out.

I don't know what this will mean for us. Will we have to move out? Find a new place right away? Sometimes, I really do wonder why my life keeps throwing these curve balls at me just when things seem finally to be going right. I'm sure it will be a stressful situation, and I ask that you keep us in your thoughts as we sort through this. I'm lucky to still be here and able to worry about these things though, if a couple things had gone different, it could have been over for us all.