What's next, the apocalypse?
I woke up yesterday morning and it was sunny and I had a bunch of shows to look forward to and I remember thinking this might be a pretty good week. It's amazing how fast things can go downhill.
I was sitting in Washington Square Park yesterday afternoon, watching the dogs at the dog run flirt when I get a call from my grandmother. She's hysterical. She explains that my uncle has passed away, the police are at his apartment, and there will be an autopsy to determine the cause. This man was 50 years old. There's no "oh, well he lived a long life, it was time" crap. A child isn't supposed to die before his or her parents. It's just not right. And to make matters worse, it's my grandmother's birthday on Thursday. What a birthday.
The weirdest part of all this, is that apparently he died while he was getting dressed: Getting dressed for my great aunt's funeral. There's some kind of twisted irony in that. And the way I've always coped with things is to find the humor, but it seems difficult on this one. What lesson do we learn from all this?
This morning I woke up, and I still felt like I hadn't processed everything. Then I get a call from my friend. Seems there's a fire in our neighborhood of Greenpoint. A fire that is, in fact, across the street from her apartment. It started at 5:30AM this morning, and the FDNY still haven't quite got it under control. Apparently, it's a 9-alarm fire and over 400 firefighters were called in to try and tame it. Can you imagine waking up with that across the street from you?
So she asks if she can bring some things that are important to her over to my place for safekeeping. And it's funny what constitutes as important. Sure you've got your papers and your passport and stuff, but then it's the memories you want to take with you. For her, it was her childhood violin and her grandmother's linens. That's what she'd run into a burning building to save.
And I thought about what it might be for me. The first thing that came to mind was my grandmother's corduroy chair and ottoman. Not exactly practical.
But I guess there are some lessons to be learned from all this: Hold on tight to those who are important to you and let them know you love them. Get dressed with a buddy. Buy homeowner's insurance.
Now put all that on a hallmark card...