Trying times

Without giving away too much detail, I’ve been going through some stressful times lately. One day, I was at work and I got an e-mail (!) that there was a fire at my apartments and everyone needed to evacuate. Of course, I was at least 30 minutes away, but my dog was at home. Not knowing any more details, I hurried back to my apartment complex, which was then blocked off entirely by fire crews and police cars. I called to a police officer and told him that my dog was still inside, and he told me I could park nearby and walk back to my apartment to rescue my girl. It was, of course, almost 100F, and I have a bad back and bad knees, so this was not good. But, my girl is definitely worth any trouble, and I walked as quickly as I could down the street and into the complex, to my building, and up the stairs to rescue my sweetie. I had the foresight to swipe my laptop on my way out the door and back to my car. But the half hour drive had wrecked my nerves and I was extremely nauseous.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the fire damaged the boilers and many apartments have no hot water (including mine). Being that this was shortly before a holiday weekend in the U.S., we could not get any facilities to help. Even now, we’re still waiting.

The good thing was that both I and my dog are fine. But I was having trouble sleeping, having been extremely worried for so long. Then again, there have been fires next to my apartment building on three previous occasions (different complexes). So, I was terrified that something like this would happen again. By the time I was close to relaxing, I was awakened at 2:00 am one morning by my neighbors having another loud argument that spilled into the parking lot by my bedroom window. They do this frequently, but I don’t know why, I felt a sense of foreboding about this one. I knew I was being paranoid, of course. But, I had to endure the slamming doors and shouting for a while. This was directly next door to me, so I heard all of it. The soundproofing here is actually not bad, but in the bathroom there isn’t as much insulation due to the plumbing. I thought I heard someone leave, so I was hoping to finally fall asleep as I hoped they would be quieter. But, of course, I heard someone re-enter the next door apartment, screaming, and then a loud bang. Alarmed, I heard someone flee the apartment afterward and drive away.

A couple of hours later, the police arrived to question everyone. Later, there were several CSI trucks that arrived to clear the apartment. I can’t begin to describe how traumatic this has been. The next night, there were fireworks due to the holiday, and it was like hearing gunshots all night long. I still haven’t been sleeping, and I know I need to find ways to reduce stress.

Naturally, I got the news of the release date the same day as the murder, which tempered my excitement quite a bit. I’m trying to remain optimistic and enjoy the moment, but it’s difficult when I know one of my neighbors has died tragically and his or her family is grieving.

Anyway, I hope that the family finds some peace in the coming days. My thoughts are with them. I wish I had trusted my instincts and done something, but I don’t know that there was enough time, regardless. I can’t help feeling that I could have been some help, and I keep replaying the entire thing over and over in my head. It’s still better than anything my neighbor’s family has to deal with, though.

I can’t help that I’m tired of this. I want my own place and I don’t see how this will happen. I’ve just turned 50 a couple of weeks ago, which makes me feel like this is the shape of my life, that I’m trapped and can’t get out. Hopefully, these feelings will fade with these stressful memories. Just be safe, everyone. No one can replace you. Things are just things.

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