Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fire Drill Day!

One of the old ladies in your building let a Christmas candle set her drapes on fire. The firetrucks are pulling up and everyone is running down the fire escape. You watch a few people descend the fire escape past your window. You sit on your bed, considering whether it’s worth it to follow them or sit there and burn to death. Most of the time, you’re pretty sure that when people die in a fire they die from asphyxiation long before they catch fire, so it probably wouldn’t hurt. And you’d be dead, so that’d be handy.

Ultimately though, you figure the chance of dying from actual flames on your body is too great to risk it, so you climb out the window and you start down. You’ll find your own way to die later, soon as you find the time to think about it.

Two flights down you catch a glimpse into an apartment and you see a girl sitting on her bed smoking a cigarette and staring at the TV. There’s already smoke coming under her door but it’s like it’s just another weeknight for her. You knock on her glass and she looks your way.

“Fire,” you say, feeling stupid almost immediately.

She opens her window and blows smoke out at you.

“Big deal,” she says. “I’ll die by the smoke before the fire gets here. It won’t hurt.”

“You don’t know that,” you say. “What if the ceiling caves in and you get trapped under burning wood? Or like a backdraft thing happens.”

Now she looks pissed. “Why can’t you let me just sit here and die?” she asks.

“Because you’re my kind of girl,” you say.

She doesn’t look so pissed anymore. There’s a smile on her face and she tosses her cigarette out the window. “Help me up?” she asks.

You take her hand and help her climb out onto the fire escape. You descend to safety, hand in hand. Then you live on to be the most depressing couple that ever rented a movie together.

Happy Fire Drill Day!