It has been a strange week for me. The fire alarms went off on Monday night, which may sound scary but happens a couple times a year for me. Typically, though, not on a Monday evening and more like on Friday or Saturday at 2:00-4:00 AM due to someone’s alcohol-fueled idea of fun. Like many of my neighbors, I went out on my patio and looked around. We all shrugged our shoulders at one another before heading back inside.
10 minutes after the fire trucks arrived, the alarms turned off (the fire department has to walk the building before they will shut off the alarm), so back to normal or so I thought. I poured myself a glass of Diet Coke and settled in to watch some TV, except I kept hearing some strange sounds, like drilling, excited chatter and wood splintering. Uh-oh.
Then the fire alarms went off again, shrill as ever. I headed into my bedroom and smelled smoke. Real smoke? Or phantom smoke conjured up by an over-imaginative, slightly freaked-out Tanya? I was pretty sure it was real smoke and there were lots of racing footsteps on the roof (I live on the top floor), so I crawled into my closet and grabbed Max.
It took a few tries but I finally stuffed Max in his carrier and just as I was about to leave, someone knocked on my door. It was a fireman clearing my section of the apartment building, which was quickly filling up with smoke.
Apparently, some jerk had thrown a cigarette down the garbage chute, which lit all the other garbage on fire. Our garbage containers are in sealed cement rooms, so thankfully that kept the fire from spreading, but the smoke went back up on the chutes so the firemen initially had a hard time pin-pointing where it was originating from.
MaxE was a real trooper throughout this. There were about 50 others outside with their pets, so he had plenty of animals and people to watch as we waited for the all-clear. All the doggies and their barking at one another (and it’s always the tiny ones too!) made him a little nervous. By the time we were allowed back into our apartment, he was pretty riled-up, which made him pant and me nervous. He did eventually calm down, but remained on edge throughout the night, since he saw fit to wake me up every two hours.
Thankfully, there was no damage to the building or any apartment. The bad news is my apartment, particularly my bedroom, smells like smoke. My apartment is next to the garbage chute, which is why I have such a strong, lingering odor. Lucky me.
I’ve been cleaning furiously, trying to get rid of the stink. It’s mostly gone, but one of my closets is still pretty bad. It’s sort of an all-purpose closet, so there is lots of stuff (and some junk) inside.
I need to set aside at least half a day to tackle it and my enthusiasm is low. Never have I wanted a magic wand (or cleaning lady) more than right now.
I’m very grateful that no one was hurt or lost all their belongings, but I am also really annoyed that someone was so careless. I’d really like them to wash my walls, launder my clothes and so on. There are plenty of other things I’d rather do!
So after my night of fire and smoke, I woke up with a burning throat from the smoke inhalation and then had the pleasure of sitting in the Jury Assembly Room at my local courthouse. I kept my fingers crossed, hoping that my name wouldn’t get called while feeling grumpy about being there when my apartment needed cleaning. Fortunately, after twiddling my thumbs (okay, reading a book) all day, I left without being called for jury selection. Whew!
It’s kind of weird because that was my third jury summons since I moved to LA, and I have never, ever received a jury summons anywhere else I lived. If I could be so bold, I’d like to request better mail. Like surprise me with a random check — that would be perfectly acceptable!
Needless to say, my week has been a bit strange, but I’m grateful to be typing this in my slightly smoky apartment with the Max Man by my side. I also feel a bit out of sorts and keep having to remind myself what day it is! 🙂 Thank goodness we’re heading into a 3-day weekend, and I plan to relax and think happy thoughts!
How has your week been?