Fuck off, Perkman. I win at losing...everything.Submitted by Sage at 2013-03-11 04:30:18 EDT
Rating: 1.82 on 29 ratings (79 reviews) (V)
This weekend was supposed to be pretty normal.
Friday night was going to consist of going for a 4.5 mile run (I am training for Richmond's Monument Avenue 10K) and watching the previously DVR'ed Pulp Fiction (I have never seen it start to finish, which isn't shocking if you know me IRL).
Saturday, a group of friends and I were going to celebrate my best friend's boyfriend's 31st birthday by going on a brewery tour on a party bus. And Sunday, I was going to pack a bit more of my apartment...I had already packed about 50% (at least) of my belongings in preparation for my move to downtown Richmond this coming Friday (March 15th).
But none of that happened.
Ok, I take it back. My run happened. After my run, I took a shower, changed into sweats, and cooked up a nice feast of a dinner - Cup O'Noodles (again - moving, so I was trying to go as long as humanly possible without grocery shopping - less to move, you see).
By 8:30pm, I was watching Pulp Fiction on my couch. During the scene where Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace were at Jack Rabbit Slims, I started to smell smoke. I thought nothing of it, really...all of the apartments in my complex have wood-burning fireplaces and periodically I'd smell smoke, attributing it to my "dumb" neighbors starting a fire in their fireplace and forgetting to open up the flue. I figured it was the same old bullshit.
Seconds later, I heard footsteps of people running down the steps. My dog Hazel started barking like crazy, but again - I heard people running up/down the steps periodically and didn't think much of it. In fact, I went out my front door, and aside from smelling a bit of smoke, all seemed relatively normal, so I decided to just sit down and keep watching the movie.
Probably 2-3 minutes later (maybe less), the smoke smell got worse, and I noticed the footsteps were continuing. I also started to hear what sounded like people banging on doors and yelling. I went outside on my porch this time, and out of the corner of my eye, saw smoke billowing out from the stairs.
It was at that moment I realized that my building was probably on fire, and even if it wasn't, I didn't want to stick around and find out.
I had Hazel in my arms already, and I ran to the bathroom to grab some essentials. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw smoke coming out of some holes that had been drilled into the wall (presumably to hang the mirror in the bathroom...I guess they decided to hang it lower). At this point, I was shaking.
I ran to my closet to try and find an overnight bag, but my closet was so smoky that all I could grab was one pair of pants and a pair of shoes to wear. I ran to my front door, grabbed my keys, sunglasses (they were in the same tray on the knee wall by my front door), and my purse, and opened my door to find one of my neighbors' teenage sons yelling and crying to get the fuck out because the building was on fire.
It was pitch black in the breezeway/stairway of my apartment building - all of the power had gone out. I live on the 3rd floor and had to run down all of the sets of stairs in total darkness. I saw my neighbors all gathering outside of the building...everyone and their animals had evacuated. I heard the sound of fire trucks and police cars and I immediately got in my car and tried to drive out of my neighborhood.
My mind was racing...all I wanted to do was get the fuck away from whatever the fuck was happening, as fast as humanly possible. I tried to call my best friend, but she didn't answer. I then called my friend who I had plans with the next day and pretty much lost it...I was incoherent. I told her my apartment was on fire and that I was probably not going to make it to the brew tour.
At first, she thought I was wasted. Then, she heard all the commotion and as I panicked trying to get out of my neighborhood (futile since firetrucks were entering), she thought I was trapped in my apartment.
After calling my parents who encouraged me to call my ex boyfriend (due to his proximity to my now-former residence), I went to my ex boyfriend's house to calm down. I then worked up the nerve to go back to my apartment, hoping that maybe the blaze had been contained enough that my apartment wasn't completely destroyed.
I couldn't get back into my neighborhood due to the 12+ fire trucks and myriad police cars/ambulances etc., so I parked in the turning lane and walked into my complex. As soon as I could see my building, I noticed the roof over my unit was completely gone. After speaking to the fire marshal, he confirmed that my apartment was indeed totaled.
There were news cameras galore who shot footage of two of the 100-foot tank trucks trying to put out the blaze, only for the chimney to collapse...into what used to be my living room.
I lost everything except for the clothes on my back, my purse, and my dog. I am, quite literally, and through no fault of my own, homeless.
Words can't describe the shock, sadness, and helplessness I have felt since Friday night. I have been doing my best to keep it together and haven't even really cried that much since then.
Not even today, when I finally talked to my renters' insurance agent and found out that the coverage I had is not going to cover 100% of my belongings...I started the inventory valuation spreadsheet tonight, and, not figuring in the $2,200 I've spent this weekend on clothing and shoes for work, toiletries, and stuff for Hazel (amazing how expensive everything is), I am already just at 2/3 of my max reimbursement.
At this point, I figure probably 80% of my belongings will be covered. But I have so much stuff that things like my jewelry and golf clubs and snowboarding equipment and the two Louis Vuitton bags that were in a closet right next to the chimney will have to take a back burner to more important things like clothing and furniture and groceries.
I am typing this on my work laptop, and speaking of work, I told my boss what happened and I am taking tomorrow (today?) off to take care of business. Things like calling Verizon to tell them the FiOS equipment that I was supposed to return was destroyed, and that they can hold off on installing service at my new address because I don't have a television and don't know when I will get one. And meeting with my insurance adjuster to hash out my inventory spreadsheet.
I feel sick to my stomach and helpless. I would love a fucking Xanax, and I will probably end up getting a prescription for some just to calm my ass down in the midst of this bullshit. This is, by far, the most traumatic event of my entire life, and I have been through some shit (parents' divorce, my own divorce, nearly dying in a car accident, etc).
I know a person's true character is revealed in times of crisis, and I guess this situation is going to reveal who I really am. But one thing that seems to be the silver lining of it all is my perspective on humanity.
On Saturday morning, I had no clean underwear to wear (I rolled commando that day), no toothbrush, nothing to shower with...quite literally nothing, and my good friend let me borrow her deodorant, a sweatshirt, a jacket, and some shoes. First stop was Victoria's Secret...and I almost lost it when they asked me what I needed.
My answer was, of course, "everything". I explained the highlights of the situation to the perplexed sales associate and word quickly spread to the other employees, and when it came time to check out, my bill was reduced by 2/3. Same thing happened when I went shopping for work clothes at The Limited. I asked for the employees' names and will be writing corporate to tell them how much that meant to me. I am humbled by peoples' generosity...brought to tears by it.
I know Uber isn't really a "praying" type of community (at least not the majority of you), but please...pray for me. I need all the prayers/good vibes I can get right now. I have a long ass road ahead of me and I am frankly scared as shit.
I am sorry for the sheer length of this post...I just needed to vent. I don't know why I picked here to do it, but I guess this place is familiar yet anonymous enough to be perfect for that.
Wish me luck.
Come hang on my couch with my chimney
Damn where'd my roof just go?