Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sirens and Showers

Today I was at home most of the day working. I'd embraced it and felt motivated to do some of the work, especially planning for a teachers writing group. 

I constructed my usual work at home scene. Pillow on floor. Laptop on coffee table. Third cup of coffee. Little bit of Modest Mouse on iTunes. The photo, scene and activity really isn't new. What was new was the other activity going on in my building.

Today must have been declared fire preparedness day by my building society. What is fire preparedness day you ask? 

 It's a day where the building society checks to make sure all the fire alarms and hoses are working.  That's a good thing, right? In all fairness it is. I just had a few very special encounters with the checks today.

Wheeerr! Wheeerrr! 

Wait? What's that you ask? Oh. 

Wheeerrr! Wheeerrr! 

That's just…

Wheeerr! Wheeerrr!

the fire alarm being tested as I plan my writing group's background building and activities for Tuesday. The elusive siren failed to be captured on video. One fail due to Coldplay insisting to be turned up louder than the siren to help drown out the noise as I worked. Hence when I tried to capture the siren's "Wheeeerrr", it wasn't audible.  The second time the siren stopped just as I pressed the red record button on my iPhone. Arg! Fire alarm! Just when I'm trying to appreciate you, you stop.

After some time, I grew accustomed to the siren's periodic shouts and screams I glanced up from one of the screens and was distracted by water spraying sideways out my kitchen window. Now it is monsoon season so sideways rain can be an occurrence in Mumbai but there was no rain out my front window so I got up off the floor to investigate.

I walked into the kitchen, opened the door to the balcony, stepped out and looked down to see my car and a few others begin sprayed with water. When I took two steps forward to get a better view, the direction of the spray turned significantly to the right. I was on the right so suddenly I was sprayed with water. Drenched is more accurate. My Reese's t-shirt and pink pajama bottoms soaked. Shocked, I turned around, walked down the hall and into my bedroom to another balcony to assess what was happening outside. 

When I opened the curtains and door, outside I saw two members of my building society who both were watching the spray with appreciation. The two men nodded and smiled at one another. They didn't see me but I did slam my door loudly which to me meant they would surely know that something happened, right? 

As I was drying off and changing my clothes from the surprise shower, I started to laugh out loud. If I'd only watched the spray from inside or gone straight to the bedroom balcony, I wouldn't have had my second shower of the day. A case of wrong place, wrong time and seriously how does someone get sprayed on an inside balcony on the 2nd floor anyway? You just have to shake your head and laugh.

Sometimes you just gotta embrace and appreciate it. The unpredictability. The thoroughness.  The sideways sprays and sirens that bombard you and remember how they'll be some of the things you miss the most when you're gone.

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