Monday, December 17, 2012

The Sounds of Sirens

In between writing drafted stories and waiting until they are ripened to perfection, I forget to jot down streams of conciousness blogs because it seems that, well, that is what Facebook and Twitter are for.  But then this blog feels neglected lately.

I woke up this morning to a perhaps, "2 alarm fire", across the street from my apartment building.  When I first heard the sirens around 7:30am, I just thought they were the sounds of Oakland that I have grown accustomed to.  Speaking of, I keep meaning to pen down that parody about Oakland to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel's "Sounds of Silence".

The Sounds of Sirens- An Ode to Oakland

Hello loudness my old friend-
Did I just hear from you again-
An onward buzzing and HORNS blaring-
Woke me from my sleep I WAS needing-

to be continued.

Anyway, the familar sounds of sirens didn't faze me until they creeped up onto my street and two firetrucks landed right outside my window.  At first I thought maybe someone had a heart attack or stroke and I was looking for a stretcher.  But then, I saw a hose that was laying flat on the street.  I looked up and noticed red flames shooting out of the second story rear side window of the pink apartment building across the street from me.  I grabbed my rinky dink smart phone camera and missed my shot because my camera sucks. By the time I powered off and turned back on my phone, I only got a picture of black smoke:

View from my window

I would like to say that my first impulse was to pray, but I would say it was a tie between praying and getting my camera to work. And then praying my camera would work.  It's my personal battle of priorities between being a Christian and being a citizen journalist always looking for a story.  But I did pray for everyone's safety and in the end, no one was hurt.  At one point I saw the house next door voluntarily evacuate an elderly man and their black cat.  No animals were harmed in making this blog.

I had my eyes glued across the street for awhile.  A few hours later, after the fire department had left, I saw a man go into the half charcoaled building and salvage his Christmas tree.  To be displaced right before the holidays- wow.  There was no going back to sleep now, which kind of sucked because I woke up yesterday morning with a very sore throat and I woke up this morning with a full-on cold.  My Christmas cold came early.  Here's to hoping I get it done and overwith before December 25th arrives.  I should be okay- I got the stuff to knock it out:

It's the most wonderful time of the year:

But how can any of us really complain about colds and property damage when we have our lives?  And for all the sirens I have heard in Oakland through the years, I have never witnessed a mass shooting anywhere around here.  It's crazy to think that I was safer in Oakland this past Friday, than a group of kindergartners were in Connecticut.  You just never know.

Alright, the point of this blog was to pause and reflect and hopefully unblock the writer's block that plagues me.  

Until next time....

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