And it would’ve been, had I known any..
The story you are about to read is true. The names have been changed to protect the pretentious.
My name is Kendrick and I carry a .badge—lee Mischka.
.It’s 12:46 AM, CST, Monday, .February 2nd , 2009.
.Dateline: Houston, TX
.I .was .working night watch .out of .the ,Westchase area on.Houston’s .southwest side.
.Interesting place. .
.This is an expansive community .consisting ethnically, of every color of the rainbow, along with homes and businesses…small, big and behemoth.
As with any megalopolis, crime is pervasive, it happens and now that we’re in the clutches of an ever mounting recession, proof of this tragic statistic is everywhere you look. There are of course, TV and radio news reports, the crime blotter in the ever diminishing newspaper, the Houston Chronicle never lacks content and of course there’s aural proof as well. I’m talking about the ever present sound of sirens.
As I was finishing up my work, I heard the first siren. 12:46 AM as I indicated above. It sounded close and getting closer. It turned the corner to my side street just off of Houston’s rather well known thoroughfare Westheimer. I heard the engine revving as it passed my dwelling so that, plus the red lights creeping through the slits in my plantation shutters indicated a fire truck. First one, then two…three…four..and more were on the way.
The fire, obviously close, was also obviously big. I went out to my balcony which faces the street and was immediately hit with the acrid smell of burning building. Smoke danced above and through the trees. Firetrucks were aligning in from of my tastefully appointed mid-rise.
I could smell a story here. Call it a hunch; call it the cough inducing smoke that surrounded me, but I knew something was amiss and it needed me…ME to provide clarity.
I grabbed some shoes, a big red cape, adjusted the large “S” on my chest and quickly dashed down three flights of stairs and once on the ground floor, burst through the front door and onto my finely manicured circular drive way. I could see a bright reddish orange glow….like this cosmic melding of orange peel, Monkey Blood and Betadine douche.
I thought for a second….Hello, Mr. Holmes…I’d go to the parking garage in the back of my building. Surely, I could see something from there. I quickly ran back inside and rushed up three flights of stairs. When the elevator door opened, I could hardly catch my breath. I darted out to the parking garage and once outside, could instantly feel the heat from the raging inferno, eating away at eight units in a neighboring two-story apartment complex.
A crowd had already gathered. They too wanted to watch the age old process of fire burning and fire being extinguished. The fire was crowd worthy; the flames were impressive. I stood by the wall of a part of the parking garage that was uncovered. The fire was perhaps about 45…maybe 90 yards away. I’m not good with distances.
I was soon joined by two young women. The terminally hip types that consider themselves gifted in the arena that is intellectual esoterica. They’re the kind of uber modern chicks who’ve colored their hair this raven black….gangrene black , really and they wear their bangs very short and erratic, as if cut by tiny fingernail scissors being operated by Parkinsonian hands….or TV’s Hugh Beaumont after a bender.
They firmly believe that this hair color and style go great with the distinct lack of melanin in their skin. In addition, they slip their slim, meth-affected frames into school girl outfits–short skirts that display white, spindly legs with feet adorned with green Chuck Taylors. They buy other types of second hand raiments purchased from stores in the bohemian section of any large city. They wear plastic kiddie hair clips, really red lipstick and listen to trance music, along with the occasional Mantovani and Echo and The Bunnymen.
We exchanged nods and made some idle chit-chat about it being a one horrific fire. We watched in silence for a while, and then the oh so wizened San and Skrit, standing to my left, started getting very deep and pseudo philosophical about the conflagration before them.
These two self perceived “noted thinkers” began with existentialist, Martin Heidegger.
Mary Kate: “You know, this fire makes me hearken (yes, she actually said ‘hearken”) back to reading Heidegger as a child. Since metaphysical philosophy is aware of the “ontological difference” but habitually misconstrues it, and proceeds on the mistaken assumption that Being can be fully grasped by way of a “general theory of Being”, we lose a sense of the presence of Being in our lives, and that is an inestimable loss. You know…lke the end result of this fire. Possessions are things and things help comprise life and to live is to exist!”
Ashley : ” Ah yes. This is the perfect indication that Heideggar was catching the same worries as the early Wittgenstein, in the latter’s musings about regaining the “mystical” sense of “wonder” that anything at all exists. In a true Heideggerian sense then, are we really watching this fire? Are the people behind us still there and still watching the fire and do the flames look to you as they do to me? What color is justice and and inequity in everyone’s world?”
Janine: “Exactly, dude! To say anything else about the abject loss these dwellers will experience, would be, as Sartre put it, a form of “bad faith”.
Garafalo: Well, my Deweyan reply to this entire situation is that I’m readily acknowledging our “groundless finitude”, but the question is whether “facing up to the sort of beings we are” is all important, as opposed to important where and when it is important. Salvation, religious or secular-existentialist is all important, almost by definition.
They looked at me and I shook my head and thought “Wow! Heavy”.
Then, I scratched my left armpit, felt an errant hair and remembered that I needed to buy dryer sheets.
I went back inside.
Nope, no story here at all..