Thursday, March 31, 2005


Lunette just called me to ask if I was alright because she can see the blaze from her place. She's taking me in.


It's just after midnight and smoke has penetrated even the penthouse floor. My eyes are watering and my nostrils are flared; I am on high alert for immediate evacuation. A fire is spreading from the three neighbouring duplexes below (which house a pizzeria, deli, and convenience store). I can see flames climbing up balconies opposite me. Sirens are blaring and crowds of huddled onlookers are being herded away. The wind is making a mess of things. It's beginning to look like the eleventh hour of Pompeii outside my now sooty windows.

And yet, all I want to do is turn my back and finish tomorrow's assignment already. I know the racket caused by the water hose and chainsaw is necessary, but my deadline is irritating my capacity for compassion. Bentolic called me to chat and had to listen to me in hysterics:

"Ahhh! The fire's everywhere! It looks like a huge campfire ... except chunks ... in patches of 4! No, 5! Ewww, I can smell it! And the concierge is saying something in French! Now English! Now he's telling all of us to stay inside!"

Bentolic: "Runnnnnnnn for it! You're insured!"

I am nauseous breathing in fumes; there is no proper ventilation to drive it out. The situation is getting worse ...


I called my parents and I broke the news to my dad that I no longer want to attend law school after I receive my BA.

"I want to be ... a traveling food critic."

"Hahaha! I mean ... hahaha!"

My dad told me the family came back from visiting New York City and West Point (the military academy) recently. I asked him how it went. He told me he hated it:

"... and the two Chinatowns, it no room for driving, all squish together! So ugly!"

He judges the character of a city by its respect for the Chinese community. My dad would probably shove a social thermometer up random homeless asses just to check the average intake of rice if he could.

Although far from being a pacifist (he comes from a family entirely comprised of Chinese military personnel), he mocked the naivete of my mother's friend who conceived unrealistic corporate dreams for her little West Point soldier.

"I think, he will only be foot army - not Mr. Big Oil Man - and I say, one day, he go to Iraq and no more son."

Tactlessness: Like father like daughter.

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