Tuesday, December 18, 2012

coincidence (fire), december twelfths

Two years ago, December 12th was this.

Last Wednesday, December 12th, I woke up just before 3am. It wasn't until I went into the bathroom that I became aware of a clanging banging nearly rhythmic noise crashing in through the open window. And then a woman's cry, "Has anyone called 911?!?"

I made my way back into the bedroom, still bogged down in sleep and wondering if any of this was real or just another one of those dark dreams that come around sometimes.  I found Evan perched on the window sill peering down to the plaza below, the cat mewling on the bed disconcertingly, herself seemingly disconcerted.

It was black smoke spewing out from the manhole cover in the middle of Cabrini Boulevard, and the force of what was below rattling and lifting and crashing the heavy metal cover itself against its moorings.

It was fire raging beneath the street -- buried beneath all that asphalt and concrete, trying to get the fuck out.

It was sparks and car alarms and brimstone and me, waiting with baited breath for the call of sirens screaming closer and closer, hoping with all my sleepy terror-frozen self that someone had called 911, that the world wasn't actually about to explode beneath us.

It took a long time after that to sink into back sleep, flashing lights of fire engines and police cars twirling around the plaza, red light seeping in through our sixth floor windows.

The next morning was rumbling of emergency Con Ed trucks, and a suggestion of smoke and electricity hovering in the air.

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