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du(vet) or du(vet) not

May 9, 2012

one of my neighbors wears a full on stanford sweatsuit when he sleeps.  the guy on the fifth floor with the cute dog sleeps in glasses.  one child, a little girl, lives with her family in my building.  whole foods keeps the lights in the freezer section ablaze all night.  my next door neighbor, victor, is out of town.  and the night shift at the local fire house is a rag-tag group of men i wouldn’t trust to extinguish the flame from a lemon verbena scented candle.

you may wonder how i know this.  well wonder no more.  at 4:08 a.m. i was startled awake by my blaring, screaming, horn of a fire alarm.  it took me a minute or 30 seconds to pull myself together and formulate a plan.  i would simply strip my duvet off my bed, throw some shoes on my feet and waddle like a little yoda down the stairs to safety to continue my slumbers on p street.  seriously.  this was my plan.

that’s just how bad my hair looked, too

another 30 seconds passed and common sense slowly awakened.  i would ditch the duvet- it would just get dirty and those feathers are probably flammable as dolly parton’s bouffant.  i would, however, grab my cell phone, throw some loafers on my feet, and cover up with my rain jacket.  (later i wondered why i didn’t think to bring my wallet or my computer or my louboutin’s.  guess i’m not as materialistic as i fear.)  i stumbled into the quiet hallway slash discoteca, the fire alarm beaming its strobe, my hair looking a hot mess.  i was the victor!  the first resident of the 7th floor out her door.

now, this is either a good thing or a bad thing.  i could be the first saved by the fresh oxygen of the street below or i could be the first human s’more.  luckily as i wound my way down the concrete staircase i neither smelled nor saw smoke or fire.  and you know what they say about that.

my hands stopped trembling, my heart stopped pounding, and my brain flickered on as my neighbors slowly spilled onto the sidewalk.  i suppose deep down i knew we weren’t in any real trouble.  except for the little girl, no one shed a tear.  not a single neighbor ran from the building, singed with fire, coughing up rings of smoke. the fire crew, who sauntered up 3 minutes later, didn’t even lace up their boots.  half-asleep we waited out the alarm, while the firemen went floor by floor checking for danger.

by 4:38 a.m. we were snaking our way back up the stairs that had carried us to safety.  my hands weren’t trembling, my heart wasn’t pounding and my brain was back in sleep mode.  the only real danger i was ever really in was death by heart attack after being startled from my sleep.  for all the excitement that is a mid-night alarm, thankfully it wasn’t very exciting.

next time, i’m bringing the duvet.

One Comment leave one →
  1. cleverasaquirk permalink
    May 9, 2012 5:56 pm

    cute: image of you wrapped in a duvet!
    not cute: remembering my own horrible experiences on the streets of Richmond with my neighbors as our fire alarm went off. that thing permanently damaged my hearing!

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