It's all gone — my life as I knew it is over, following a May 21 fire at the apartment I lived at on Louisiana Street.
A policeman was knocking down my door. I could see the look of fear on his face — "Come with me NOW, before this floor collapses and drops us into the fire below."
The policeman pulled me down the stairs — I could feel the heat of the flames, smell the smoke, and taste the soot that was filling my mouth, nose, and lungs. I held my breath and ran. I had to run between burning trees and the flames. I remember feeling my hair to be sure it hadn't caught fire.
I stood behind my building, barefoot and braless in my pj's, watching my apartment and car burn. I was shivering with cold and shaking with fear. People were watching it all burn. Why? Beauty of the flames or a thankfulness that it wasn't their misfortune? I wanted to scream, "All you people go away!!"
I realized the things I had treasured were being destroyed and there was nothing I could do but grieve. Why hadn't I taken an extra second to grab family photos? The words others said to me that night sounded so shallow — "Don't worry, everything will be all right." Don't tell me everything will be all right, I remember thinking.