xiane: ([dark of night])
Was online around 1am, talking to [livejournal.com profile] djdayglo, when Rob and I got a horrible need to get food. I figured a run to the border was in order. On the way there, Rob and I passed through something that we thought was fog at first, until we got a whiff and realized it was smoke, and bad-smelling smoke at that. We figured it was probably someone's fireplace with a damp log on it, and paid it not much more mind.
After an abortive attempt to get food at Taco Bell, and success at Burger King [don't get me started on how that was], we started on the trek back home. However, when we got to the place where the smoke had been before, it was now MUCH worse. We decided that turning around and seeing where the smoke was coming from might be a good idea, and we turned down a side road to see what we could see.
There, the smoke was quite thick and smelled pretty heavy. We drove slowly past houses, looking at each one to see what we could find. Finally at one white house, we saw large amounts of smoke - but it wasn't until we pulled past it that we saw flames pouring out the side window.

Um, holy shit, y'all.

So I told Rob to pull over and put his hazards on, and he called 911 and gave them approximate directions [at the time we weren't sure what the address was] - and we debated what to do. He thought that there hadn't been any cars in the driveway, but I wasn't sure... we decided that turning around and parking on the opposite side was a good plan, and Rob laid on his horn to see if anyone would wake up. I had tried to get out of the car before we turned around, to see how bad it was and maybe if anyone was there, but Rob had stopped me because of the smoke. I was preparing to put my hoodie over my mouth and try running out there when a cop showed up and jumped out to do exactly that. Let me tell you, the response from the emergency people was amazingly fast. The cops were there in like 2-3 minutes, and the FD not much later.

We were directed to pull into a driveway across the street - at first the cop directing us wanted us to leave, but we thought that the FD might want to talk to us - and we also wanted to make sure they didn't get weirded out if we left the scene, either.

Houses burn up so quickly. No one was there - the family was away, up in the mountains, but the sister of the woman that lived there lived next door and was able to contact the family and verify that no one was home. She offered several times for us to come in and get warm - southern hospitality, but also a point of human contact, too - but we decided that staying in the car was probably for the best, in case the officials needed to talk to us.

Houses burn quickly, but the details take forever to finish. Cutting holes in the roof to let out smoke and pour in water. Smashing out windows or blowing the smoke out so that the firemen could check each room. Rolling up a million hoses, filling out paperwork, directing the flow of FD and PD.

We reported the fire at 1:33. We got home a short while ago, almost 4:30.
We're tired, but I expect the exhaustion is just beginning for that poor family. I'm glad we thought to go check it out. I just wish we'd been able to get there in time to help save the place.

Everyone, please be safe.
xiane: ([short hair])
I was called self-righteous today, under the guise of "some people in Baltimore" - well, I know full well that I am who was referred to [unless my fiance was meant, which would be a grave mistake of location, although we share the same views on this subject] and I am unafraid of such pejoratives.
The definition of "self-righteous" as put forth by Merriam-Webster:
convinced of one's own righteousness especially in contrast with the actions and beliefs of others : narrow-mindedly moralistic.

No, keeping company with hate-mongers doesn't make you one. Joining communities that support hateful ideologies doesn't condemn you. Putting the two together doesn't make your case look so good, however. Adding the communities after spending a great deal of time with the aforementioned haters? Doesn't look so good.
You don't have to prove anything to me. I'm just some girl. Then again, I must have quite some power if my words of condemnation for the company one keeps would drive one to steer clear of Baltimore.
Is it that I'm powerful?
Or is it that my questioning hit home?
I mean, it's public knowledge that I'm leaving here soon, and I'm pretty sure that last I checked, I didn't speak for everyone in this city. So why would someone flee when I pointed the questioning finger at them?

No one wants to be called hateful, I suppose. But there's an easy remedy for this: DON'T KEEP COMPANY WITH THOSE WHO SPREAD THAT DOCTRINE. Aligning yourself with jingoists gives them your tacit consent and approval. That's a slippery slope that only leads to bad situations, as history's proved before.

How can you not recognize hatred? I'm saddened to think that people are fooled by such evil rhetoric.


So how far will *you* go for righteousness? What do you allow or disallow in your life? I've talked to several people about this so far this week; the consensus so far has been that silence equals consent and that keeping quiet about hatred allows it to grow. Do you agree with this? Do you think that "live and let live" means keeping silent when those of your circle choose alliances that feel negative to you? Do you speak out? Do you cut them off, or take it farther and tell everyone what you are doing, to whom and why? Do you discuss it with them, or just walk away quietly? Do you shrug and say, "Such is the way of the world?"

All comments screened, both for honesty and privacy. I'm truly curious what you think about this. I promise not to criticise your choices, although I might question for better understanding. I know where I stand [and I'll tell you in detail if you wish, although all names are withheld for privacy] but I am always questioning how the rest of the world handles these things.
xiane: ([peering])
Did I do something wrong? Seriously. I get the feeling that I fucked up somehow and I don't know what I did. I just have a ... feeling, you know?

Can I atone somehow, if I've wronged you?

All comments are screened. If there's something I did wrong, please please let me know.
xiane: ([self portrait])
As far as life experience goes: Time is never "wasted."
There's a lesson in every moment.

my rambling on this... )

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