Sunday, August 10, 2008

Fire on 8/9/08 in Silverlake

Yesterday I held an open house from 12 - 6 PM in an attempt to find a new tenant to sign a lease with the management company for my unit. It's the only way I can leave. After 6, greatly relieved, I closed my door and turned on Cinemax and watched Live Free or Die Hard. Wondering whether I could "go out" on a Saturday night or not with my little funding available, I saw a film called Light Sleeper was going to be on IFC at 10 and I decided to watch it. I resolved to get Taco Bell for dinner around 9:30 to be back in time for the beginning of the movie.

I went to the bathroom before I stepped outside and I heard my neighbors talking more audibly than I usually heard them talk. That is, the neighbors who live in the next yard over, in a different apartment complex. It sounded a bit like they were having an argument. I always enjoy overhearing drama but I couldn't make out much of what they were saying.

I walked outside with my keys and saw all of these strange ashes flying in the air. It was almost as if it were 4th of July, or as if there had been a sudden explosion of fireflies in the area. They were literally right above my head, but they would evaporate as they fell to the earth. I stepped off my staircase and saw a huge ball of smoke and fire apparently attacking a tree in a spot that was apparently just behind my apartment complex's parking lot. It was so close. I got scared, and was happy I was on my way to my car, but I briefly considered whether or not I should pick up my computer in case my building were to catch on fire.

A slew of fire engines and emergency vehicles and police cars flooded the area directly in front of my apartment window. As I walked to my car, firefighters jumped off their truck, unloaded and uncoiled their hose, and ran through the back of our apartment complex's driveway towards the cloud of fire. An asian girl was running around frantically. She asked me if I lived here and I said yes and she asked if everybody else in the building knew what was going on and I said I didn't know and she said, "It's huge!" And that really scared me.

So then I got in my car, went to Taco Bell, and tried to return home. Well, the police car had parked so it was blocking both lanes of traffic onto Benton Way. Feeling like it was my right to do it because I lived there, I actually turned and manuevered myself around the parked police car. I thought it was empty. But the policeman was on the sidewalk and said, "Excuse me! Did you see my car parked there?! Turn around!" I thought he was going to bust me and give me a ticket or something, but I did turn around to turn back onto Sunset and I apologized to him and he was less offended, thank God.

I turned up Marathon Dr. and circled around to the back end of LaFayette Park Place. Cones had been placed in front of and in back of the fire zone, so I parked further away than I normally did. When I did a three-point-turn to turn around when I got to the cones, there was this gay (I presume) man talking to two friends or neighbors and I guess it was his white car I was doing the middle of my three-point-turn during and he was like, "Hey! Watch out!" and I put up my hand as if to say, I have it under control, relax. I parked a couple car lengths down and walked back towards my apartment and as I passed this aforementioned gay (I presume) man I heard him say something like, "...And then I was walking up the hill and I just heard someone say 'arson.'"

I went inside and turned on IFC and watched a featurette about their new documentary "Larry Flynt: the Right to be Left Alone" and ate my Taco Bell and kept my windows open while the flashing lights of the fire engines went on for another hour.

The movie Light Sleeper was okay, but by the end I was so ready to pass out I couldn't even brush my teeth or do my dermatological regimen. I just passed out.

Yeah, that was my Saturday, basically, that and reading some more of What is the What which I hadn't picked up in over a year, and watching some of Hollywoodland.

I would like to personally thank the LAFD for protecting all of us from certain annihilation last night. I do not know how I would have responded towards losing all of my stuff at this juncture, but I do not think it would have necessarily simplified matters, though perhaps it would have made my moving easier.

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