Thursday, April 7, 2011

An Eventful Evening

Last night was different. After work, I attended a "Christ in the Passover" presentation given by the Executive Director of Jews for Jesus at a local church. Let me just say that if you have a chance to go to one of these presentations (the missionaries travel all over the U.S. during April) please go. It is worth your time--trust me.

Afterwards I was headed home by my normal route. It was after 9 p.m. and apparently the buses don't come as frequently as they do during the day. This made sense; it was just a little more inconvenient for me than I was anticipating. So I decided to get a few more blocks of walking in and walked to the next bus stop (I do this because I can't sit and do nothing and figure this way I'm at least getting exercise). At the next stop I decide just to wait for the bus, it should only be 5 more minutes. The bus comes, I get on and notice that the crowd is comletely different after dark. This makes sense too in some respects.

The next thing I know, everyone is getting off the bus, and I am confused. I also get off the bus and as I take that last step down, I hear the bus driver repeating, "This is my last stop" to those that haven't left their seats yet. I am really frustrated. We've only gone 4 blocks and I have 13 left to go before I'm home. Its dark, its windy and cold, and I just paid the $2 fare to go 4 lousy blocks (yes, I'm cheap enough that losing $2 upsets me).

I decide to wait for the next bus. I really don't want to walk alone in the dark; it just doesn't feel that safe. I wait with 30 other people. As I wait and see that the next bus isn't coming any time soon I start to get more upset. I start thinking about the lack of service the city has after dark and how wrong that is. I'm angry that they can just end a bus shift right in the middle of a route with no warning to its passengers. I'm angry that now I won't get home until 10! I'm angry that this whole situation inconvienced me a lot more than it should and I'm angry that I turned down someone's offer for a ride home from the church thinking this would be no problem.

Well, the next bus comes and the driver says, "Sorry, this is my last stop." WHAT?!? Alright, now I'm just fed up. I begin walking--so does everyone else. After walking eight blocks I can tell something is going on. There are four empty busses pulled over and up ahead there are flashing lights. . . a lot of flashing lights. After walking a little further I see a camera crew and news van. And then a little further I see fire trucks. Not just one or two, but like ten or twelve! Ladders are raised up to one of the buildings. . . there's not a single light on in the building, its pitch black and it sort of looked like the windows are missing from the top floor. There were so many firefighters--at least fifty. And there are at least a hundred people standing outside watching. It's hard to get through the crowd. I couldn't see any flames or smoke but I could smell it.

I had two thoughts as I walked through that crowd. 1) I need to get home and watch the news to find out what happend and 2) I should not be angry, I have a home that isn't on fire right now, I should not get so upset when my plans don't happen as I wanted. I am so completely self-absorbed and selfish. Okay, maybe that's more than two thoughts, but you get the idea. I was convicted of my attitude.

I finished the walk home and was a little awe-struck that this was all going on a mere four blocks from my home. This is the first news-worthy event that has happened in my neighborhood since we moved here (as far as I know). I was a little shaken up.

It turned out that three apartment buildings had caught fire; the wind was pretty nasty and as you may know, the buildings in SF are built close together. I had been upset that I had to wait for the bus in that wind, but these poeple had to wait hours in the wind while they watched their homes burn.

I'm lucky I could say I was home by 10 and fast asleep by 10:30 in my comfortable and warm bed.

If you're interested in what happened you can read a news blog about the fire here.

1 comment:

Brenda said...

I'm so glad that fire was not closer to your house! I thought about you when I heard about the fire. I've experienced the same thing on the buses here in SF, they are not always the most reliable :(