We Moved Here to Escape Things Like Fire and Crime and Cops

No, I did not think to grab my camera. I am stupid.

There I was, wallowing in self-pity and taking a few seconds to grieve, when something whispered at the hairs on my neck and caused me to turn my head ever so slightly, just enough to catch a glimpse of flashing blue lights. Hmmm. I craned my neck to investigate, not yet willing to go through the chore of setting the laptop on the ottoman and rousing myself from my comfy spot on the couch. Unable to get a good look, and admittedly nosey, hoping to see someone getting arrested or something, I ambled to the front door and opened it.

HOLY crap! Orange. A huge orange plume of flame, across the street. Where across the street, you ask? Let me show you:

Yeah. Back in the olden days, when my uncle the Preacher owned the land we will be building our house on, he kept a retreat of sorts way in his backyard. More of a shack, a shanty, than anything else, it was nonetheless a favorite hangout of young kids and teens looking for someplace to be naughty and look at dirty magazines. Oh, and my uncle wrote sermons there too, I think, because when we came across this deathtrap unbelievably still standing last spring, we found inside about two hundred religious paperbacks and no girly magazines.

The shack was slated for demolition.

When my field of vision was consumed with that fiery glow, I naturally assumed my cousin M’s house was on fire (since they have electricity and all that combustible moonshine over there), and took off at a sprint across the street. There was a cop walking about a hundred yards in front of me, and as I bolted up the driveway wheezing and coughing, he informed me sternly that I wasn’t going to help anyone by making myself sick trying to get there in a hurry. Thanks, Officer Friendly for reminding me that I’m in no shape to even run across the street. Do you have a spare inhaler?

There was very little drama after I caught my breath. M’s house was not in fire, and no one knows how this happened. The fire investigator asked me (since I’m the Property Owner, and everything. My first official duty as Property Owner was preserving my father’s sleep tonight.) if I’d done anything recently to piss anyone off.

“You mean, anyone besides the whole Internet?” I replied? Besides psycho ex-boyfriends and freaks from California who threatened email bombs and the FBI? I don’t think so, but this is a small town, so you never really know.

And then I ran into my old friend and workout buddy V. His wife was my best friend at one time. I’m still not sure how someone can be your best friend and then not your friend at all anymore, but that’s the way it went down. I have the Mexico video to prove that we loved each other once. They have a new baby, which is totally weird because it doesn’t seem like it could possibly be that long since I talked to her online-14 months, at least? Anyway. The people you run into in the middle of the night when things are on fire. And all the while I’m standing there making conversation with someone I haven’t seen in 6 years, and in the back of my mind all I can think of is at the very end of the DownTime CD the guys were goofing around and someone goes “Now THAT’s a Fire!” except he says it true southern stye: FAAAAAR. Now that’s a faaar.

This sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? I’m serious, it happened. V is a cop, that’s why he was there. I’m not sure what the Green Giant was doing making out with Little Bo Peep in the shed, but maybe the fire investigator will shed some light on that.


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