Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Kingdom for a Boring Life...

But then, would I even bother with a blog at all?

If my writing style is kind off today I'm blaming it on the fever (though once you hit the "sweats" part it means you're finally coming down from it, according so some of the web doctors I started reading...others think I might need to be hospitalized so I'm trying to take the middle road here and just take advil and drink water and see how I feel later.)

I'm at a loss where to begin and it all feels like old news already...but let's start with the fire, as there aren't any pictures of that, and move on to other things which I'll try to "pre-post" so as to not inundate my very dwindled reading population with more posts in one day than I've done in a year, shall we?

But wait, we may need to back up a bit more as it won't explain why the alarm was so dreadful to me by Wednesday. How about let's start with a wee bit more background:

So Monday Andy left for Ohio, and as much as I love living with people and know I will miss them terribly as some point in their absence, I was kinda looking forward to a quiet, empty apartment for the few nights he'd be gone. It'd been a rough week before and I was definitely in the more "I hate everybody" mood, which solitude does wonders for.

Tuesday evening though, I last-minute like (as in I had my bag and sweater over my shoulder for the whole thing) said I'd stick around for the reception my work place had (having moved to the new and kewel building and wanting to show off the lab and workshop, I can't blame them). There might have been more glasses of wine that I thought I'd drunk and some super greasy, but yummy, appetizers that do so very little for absorbing those too many glasses of wine.

I am officially now super grateful that I only live blocks from work, because I am also officially a teetotaler in my mid thirties, really, ask anyone, and the wine and greasy food were just not the right combination for my no longer experienced tummy and liver. But by bog, I was going to get home and watch LOST if it killed me! But I was already passing out as I sat down on the couch.

With how horrible things like too much fish, pork and salt are for my body? I think I might add duck to the list. When I woke up to a very beautiful black man trying to sell me "men's aerobic" products via the tee vee at 2:30 AM? I was not doing very well at all. The room, and my tummy, were spinning...and I had no one to blame but myself. I put myself to bed, admonishing myself for being such a fool, and swearing off both wine and duck empanadas, because they are not the more healthful or wise combination for me, as my swollen fingers were testament to this.

Bleary and in a little pain, which I chalked up to being hung-over and maybe a little poisoned, I went to work, and worked hard. Thank you advil. Thank you makers of vitamin water. Thank you co-workers for leaving me alone. Somehow I made it through the day and my goal was to go home, collapse, and be a new woman on the morrow.

This is where I was/what I was feeling when at 1:30 AM the loudest alarm clock in the world woke me up, and spoke to me. I may have tried to hit the snooze bar on my alarm clock before I realized that my alarm clock did not TALK to me.


"No no no no no nooooooooooooo" was what I said out loud and ALMOST pulled the covers over my head. We'd had sooooo many false alarms in the last couple months (3 that I quickly recalled), but never on my floor. Never with that voice. Never with so many voices in the hallway.

So I got up (the room, kinda not quite right) and possibly channeled the younger me who used to live on a boat and woke up that one day to stand in inches of water on the Napa River. I don't think I ever got dressed so fast. But dressed I decided to be as I live on the 17th floor. 17 flights of stairs in my slippers? Not going to happen. 17 flights that ended up with us standing out in the rain (not the lobby?) in my inadequate for the temperatures PJs? Not going to happen.

When I went out the door (then doubled back to make sure I had my wallet and cell phone), there were others milling and one determined floormate that opened the door to the stairs and said, "We should all go." We all did, and it wasn't until we were sitting in the lobby waiting for the firemen to arrive theorizing if it really was a fire or another false alarm that he told us all to go because he passed an apartment on OUR FLOOR with smoke coming out from under the door, but hadn't wanted to mention this as he was all for avoiding a panic/mad dash/trampling/drama. Dude, my hero.

But yeah, 17 flights. We stopped a couple floors down to see if we could just hold out on like the 15th or 10th or maybe the 8th floor (where they have a patio and stuff that I never use) but after opening a few doors and hearing alarms and more WHOOTS and not being sure if it was just the echo of ours, we decided that we should just head all the way down, just in case.

And if I hadn't, I'd have never heard that it was the apartment two doors down from mine that was ablaze and that the fire had actually set off the sprinklers and that the apartments to the sides of the inferno should go back up and check on the status of their apartments. However, one wee caveat...the elevators would be out for hours. We could go back to our homes, but we'd have to take the stairs.

17 flights. All I could think of as we passed the 8th floor and my thighs gave their first tremble? I had been offered a place on the 8th floor. By the time I got to the 14th? I was staggering, gasping for air that smelled very much of smoke, and those aforementioned thighs? HATED ME.

I opened the door to my hallway and was met with a lake of water to my left. My apartment, however, lay to the right. It was now 2:30 AM and the adrenaline was pumping, but at the same time my body was balking and so instead of trying to see past the bodies of the fire and maintenance men and catch an idea of what-all had happened, I staggered home and collapsed into my desk chair and emailed work. (Yes, there was electricity.)

There is nothing like a 2AM email to work (this would be my second...the first was the one I wrote after coming home from the emergency room after having been run over by that orange F150 pickup truck a few years ago.) In some ways I think it's worse than the 2AM phone call, because you don't think to just write the minimum, you know, like the voicemail you cut short because your voice starts cracking?

Anyhow, as I told them, I am fine. The apartment is fine. The water damage (I'm told) stopped about 3/4ths of the way across my next door neighbor's apartment. Even the smoke I inhaled too much of in the stairway was being whooshed out by a HEPA500 fan when I finally did get up to go to work the next day. How I managed that feat I will never know.

My body hated me, first for the overindulgence, then for the lack of sleep, and especially for the adrenaline that seemed to seep through my veins like that asthma inhaler I was prescribed that time I had bronchitis so bad it was turning into pneumonia. (Never a dull moment...) And this is where I plug in how much I love my work. They all pretty much said I should go home. This was especially needed by me as I promised Andy I'd pick him up at the airport late that my day had begun at 1:30 that morning? This was not something I was looking forward to and almost pulled a HUGE favor card and had someone else get him. But I am stupid that way and decided I could do it.

No, I do not have a terrible story associated with that part of my night. I think, except for delaying the flight for 40 minutes (which gave me time to finish my fingerless mitts) the gods had finally decided to look elsewhere for their amusement.

But yeah, both my boss and his boss are ready to have an intervention when it comes to me and everything that always seems to happen to me. I am so with them on that one.


Beth said...

Wow! That was quite a story! Andy is probably sad he missed the drama of the fire - not! :) I hope you get some rest and feel better soon.

erin said...

Holy crap! Sooo, wait, the dude saw there was smoke coming from an apartment and didn't bang on the door? What if someone had been in there? Hmm.

Feel better soon!!