Saturday, December 25, 2004

The roof is on fire.

A really quite minor family battle left things a little bit awkward and me feeling anxious.
We always manage to scream at each other over x-mas, for some reason.

I usually try to get out and give things some space when that happens.
This year my brother decided to boycott x-mas. Since some people bought him presents anyway, he decided to get a few things for some of us. I usually take him shopping since he hates it and can never think of stuff to buy, so he called me and asked what I want. Asking also, of course what to get for our various parent/step parent peoples.

In the end he showed up for dinner and asked me if i'd rather have a girly-bath thing or a big bag of hydro weed. Fuck the bath stuff.

He was meeting a few friends for his 'midnight mass' smoke out in the park and I called him and asked if I could get into my christmas present early. He came back to the house with a spliff and we smoked it while walking back.
He's either afraid I'm going to be a dork in front of his friends, or that I'm going to make fun of him in front of them, the way I did when I was 12. So I turn around to go back home. It is REALLY cold out, but I decide I'll keep walking for a bit, especially since the sky is looking very intense.

Several fire trucks are just screaming by. I think that there's something wrong, but then remember that I'm a little high and it's way more efficient to just ignore those ideas. Especially since there's a fire station a block away, so fire trucks are pretty common here.
Then it strikes me that it IS weird because they're going towards the fire station at full blast, instead of away from it.

I decide to walk a bit closer. The top storey of a duplex is just billowing smoke out the balcony doors and roof. There are a lot of flashing lights and also a fair number of gawking bystanders wearing pyjamas and coats. It's about negative twenty five and one of those perfectly clear and calm nights. The smoke seems to reach up past the moon and, from where I'm standing, it looks like it's filled the whole sky over North-Eastern Ottawa.

I think I was just craning my head around looking when I realize that I stopped next to a small group of neighbours and hadn't even made eye contact with them (it's not hard to do when wearing a hoodie and scarf-wrapped-around-face combo). I smile nervously at one of them and realize that they must have thought I was being creepy. Then I have one of those 'o migod i'm REALLY high' moments that just seem so highschool yet are funny. Then I got those stoner giggles - you know, like when you start thinking about how hilarious your nose is and it feels like you have cobwebs on your face. All of a sudden it occured to me that I was watching someone's house burn down and it looked like I was laughing at it. I headed home before someone thought I was an arsonist. At this point the whole roof was ablaze and the cops were starting to clear people off the street.

I found out the next day that everyone got out ok. That was the same night the tsunami hit. Having your house burn down on Christmas eve sucks, but having your family washed away by a giant wave puts it into perspective.