Friday, March 28, 2008

Tragedy Strikes Again...


With cranes falling from the heavens and destroying whole buildings and killing and injuring people and cats beginning their lemming like leaps from high rise apartments (a guy was hit by one recently and was knocked unconscious) you never know when tragedy will strike. So when I stepped out to catch a little repast at a local eatery, Taco, Taco, I searched the skyline for any menacing metallic giants punctuating and polluting the skyline like wretched dinosaurs. There were none. Neither were there any flying felines. I crossed Second Avenue and entered Taco, Taco, and sat at an empty table. A waiter quickly asked me if I wanted anything to drink and I ordered a Corona sans the lime. It was brought to me post haste with a bowl of chips and salsa. I ordered the beef taco entree and sipped on the cerveza. There were about three other couples enjoying their meals and as I sat alone I took note of some of the conversation. It's a habit born out of boredom. One couple was talking about buying a new flat screen TV set, one was speaking loudly about Hillary Clinton dodging bullets on the tarmac and the other couple looked dreamily into each others eyes and fed each other tortilla chips. This encouraged me to eat a couple of the still warm hand made chips, dipping them in the homemade salsa, the perfect combination of tomato, peppers and spice. In what seemed like record time my food arrived and I savored the spicy, fresh Mexican cuisine. As I ate I heard the far off sound of a fire engine's siren but ignored it finishing my first taco with controlled zeal. As I ate my second taco the siren grew louder and more of them screamed in our direction. A waiter stepped outside to take a look and then quickly disappeared out of sight. The sirens were now deafening and the light show they were putting on outside alarmed me because if it was a fire it was close. More trucks came and all of the sudden a panic came upon me as the waiter came back saying the fire was right around the corner. I live right around the corner! I quickly stood, told my waiter I would be right back and ran out of the restaurant, looking at the pandemonium that was now 90st Street and Second Avenue. When I got to the corner I breathed a sigh of relief as the fire was far down the street from my apartment. But as I watched flames pour out of a window and firemen heading for the fiery sight it occurred to me again the capriciousness of tragedy. As a crowd began to gather I headed back to the restaurant relieved but saddened by someone else's tragedy. I sat down and finished my meal slowly and noticed the couple who were feeding each other earlier still looking lovingly into each others eyes. The other two couples talked on as they ate their food, none of them seeming to notice the commotion outside. I finished my food, paid my bill and walked home taking a last look at the fire that was still burning, thanking my lucky stars, gods, immortals and just good luck charms that this tragedy had spared me...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was doing a google search on "upper east side fire march 2008" and immediately saw your blog. this was my building and i was in taco taco later that evening because of the obvious fact, my apartment was no more :(
i enjoyed reading your writing.