The evening before last, there was a fire in my apartment building and the alarms went off. I don't trust alarms nor do I find them exciting, something related to the endless evacuation trials that filled my childhood, I'm sure. Anyways, it sounds off at 4am and I awake in a panic thinking it's an alarm clock (even though I haven't had one since the 7th grade). I realize it is the fire alarm and jump to look out my window in case there are flames. My neighbors have already collected their pets and gathered outside, all disheveled in pajamas and bad hair. I choose a pair of vintage Levi's 501 jeans and a wool sweat shirt and a hat and set them on my sofa in case I do actually decide to evacuate. I want to look cute and fresh, but not like I thought about it. More importantly, I am not going to be all broke down looking when I am forced to live at the red cross. but I don't evacuate, I just sit there. If I smoked perhaps, then I would go outside, but otherwise it didn't seem necessary.
The fire trucks show up minutes later, sounds of sirens filling my neighborhood, and firefighters come rushing through the hallways. Their voices were loud, so I figured I could just listen to what was going on. I keep checking for my door to get warm or for smoke but all I smell is the slightest scent of something burning. The alarm is shut off, only to be turned on again. I put on the jeans and take them off again. The smell of smoke starts filling my apartment. I wondered about maybe filling my tub with water (???) but I don't want them to hear that I am still inside, so I just sit still. I think about writing notes to loved ones and deleting porn off of my hard drive (just in case) but I figure that if I burn up, surely the notes and computer will be destroyed also and it's a bit pointless. Anyways, I have never loved anyone without telling them, ever, so I don't really have a lot to get off of my chest. It's been a little while, so i quietly go to the door and it still smells of smoke, but it isn't hot yet and it's not like I can hear flames or anything. My heart is pounding, but I feel surprisingly calm. Finally the alarm shuts off around 5 am, the fire has been put out, and the culprit is food left in an oven next door. I crawl back into bed and go to sleep, somewhat unnerved at how not rational I am in the middle of the night.