So I was home this afternoon, doing my thing. Writing a post for this blog, eating lunch. I'd done the gym thing, swam for 30 minutes, 10 minutes in the sauna. I remember checking the time, thinking, damn its almost one in the afternoon, and my day has no direction. About a second later, I heard a loud explosion. Like a bomb had gone off. I went to the window, looked down the street, didn't see flame or smoke or fire, and thought, whatever it was, its under control. But ten minutes later, I looked out again, and saw my neighbors standing on their stoop, wandering out into the street, and decided I ought to check this out.
Nobody knew exactly what had happened aside from the explosion. But words like gas leak and transformer fire were bandied about. I went back in, grabbed Molly, b/c I thought it might be a good time to go for a walk. Soon the streets surrounding my neighborhood were swarming with police and firemen. Con Ed men. Emergency vehicles were driving on the sidewalks. Traffic was being diverted. Molly was getting a little freaked out, so I dropped her off at a friend's funeral home on Atlantic Avenue to find out exactly what the hell was going on. I know that sounds weird but he's a nice guy and he loves Molly. Besides, I wanted to go back home and grab my cell phone.
I got there just as firemen were knocking on my door. I let them in and they said, Miss get off this street. You can't go in. Everyone on Joralemon and Willow were evacuated. Shit. This was serious. I went back to the funeral home to get Molly--- Ronny, wanted me to stay where it was safe, but it was way too entertaining out on the streets. Plus the sun was shining, and it was like 50 degrees out. Back at Willow, now taped off, two reporters from Newsday and the Post were fighting over me, and another man had a camera in my face. I really didn't know what to say except that I'd been evacuated, that I'd heard what sounded like a bomb go off, and that earlier some guys had been jack-hammering further up the street. That's it.
After awhile, it was like a carnival. All my neighbors were out, everyone had their dogs, their cell phones, and cats in cat carriers. We traded gossip and tried to figure out when we would be able to go home. I started to get cold, and went over to my deli for a cup of coffee and a roast beef sandwich. Then I settled in on the curb in the sunlight and watched the parade of official looking men roam up and down my street. Finally I asked a fireman if I could go back in and get a sweater and my cell phone. By now it was three in the afternoon, and it was definitely getting colder. I had to consider that I might need a place to spend the night.
The fireman went inside with me with a carbon dioxide meter, allowed me to get a sweater and my cell phone. He said the air was clean. Two seconds later, I was allowed back. But I couldn't stay there. Too much DRAMA out on the street; news cameras, reporters, displaced neighbors from further up the street who were still homeless. I went back out for groceries, watched an elderly woman try to slip past the barricade, only to be told, "No way."
It's about 8:30 now. I can hear kids on skateboards, laughter. The street is quiet and dark. No doubt tomorrow the only thing I'll see on my way to the train is the massive hole in the street from three separate gas explosions. Way to go independent contractors jack-hammering on Willow Place. That's what you get for breaking the law and working on a holiday.
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