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It's a fine line between living for the moment and being a sociopath.

Patricia B McConnell: For The Love Of A Dog.

Pema Chodron: The Places That Scare You

Daniel Wallace: Mr Sebastian & the Negro Magician

All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. --Pablo Neruda

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Poxy Angel thankfully untouched by flame

So, it's been an eventful week for Flame-Haired Angel, who's still down in Oz.

Yesterday, I called her at about 10am, Paris time, to let her know that she gets to keep all her dresses. I made the call from my mobile phone while standing on the sidewalk watching the Parisian fireman put out the raging blaze in the building next door.

I had awoken to street noise, but thought nothing of it, as we live across from a school, which, you know, occasionally offers up some scholastic din in the morning hours. It was only after getting out of the shower that I registered that some of the street noise was slightly siren-esque. I threw back the curtains only to find I couldn't see anything because the smoke outside the window was so thick. Running across and looking out the windows on the other side of the apartment only served to confirm that the smoke was all around and, judging from its thickness and opacity, coming from very close by.

All that grade-school training kicked in: I felt all the walls for heat. Happily, all I found were cool walls. Then the grade-school training fled from me, and I threw open the French doors to stick my head outside. I promptly choked on the smoke, but not before locating its origin: the building next door.

Now, we live in what is called a Hausmannian building. They're about 150 years old, and they're near the top of anyone's idea of beautiful urban residential architecture. They have loverly carved stone facades. They are also packed full of hardwood infrastructure and flooring, as well as timber-backed plaster. They're tinder boxes.

I unplugged my back-up hard drive, shoved it in a bag with our wedding albums, and got out. And there I stood, waiting on the street for visual cues indicating relaxed firemen. The sight of firemen frantically running around and yelling at each other is pretty much a bad sign, especially if they're glancing toward your building in a manner that suggests they're wondering which windows to break first.

The only reason I'm not 100% glad Flame-Haired Angel missed the conflagration is that she's got a soft-spot for French firemen, or "pompiers". They are notoriously handsome and fit. And they've got the coolest helmets in the world. That picture? No kidding. That's what they wear to fires: silvered visor and all.

All was eventually subdued by the pompiers, but not before it became apparent that the French phrase for "serious smoke damage" would be figuring large in my neighbors' futures.

I waited to call Flame-Haired Angel until I was sure her dresses were safe. I didn't want to upset her unnecessarily.

Given she has chicken pox and all.

Yep. She's in Australia, staying at her parents' place, covered in more than 100 spots.

Normally foxy. Currently poxy.

Which might explain her emotional state when I called her about an hour ago. I broke the news that US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had resigned, and FHA cried. Literally. Cried. With joy.


Comments on "Poxy Angel thankfully untouched by flame"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:30 AM) : 

Where can I get one of those helmets - they would look great sitting next to the the old diving helmet...
Can you get any contact details for your local fireman?


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