Dumpster Fire


This is a dumpster. It is not on fire. Anymore.

I got home too late to go for a run but not too late for the sun to be down yet. I parked the van in the usual spot and began walking to the apartment when I realized that there was a river of water across the parking lot. In these times of severe drought sensitivity, any sign of water is a sign of something out of the ordinary.

My first response was a feeling of dread: the water seemed to be emanating from the side of the building near our unit: this in itself was not alarming- there is a spigot on the wall right where our apartment meets our neighbors’ and it wouldn’t have been impossible for someone to hook up a hose to it. But where there’s a spigot there are pipes and sometimes where there are pipes there are mysterious high pitched noises in the walls that carry on day and night for two weeks. The Noise that had been keeping us awake at night since before Independence Day was finally, blessedly silenced yesterday and in my mind all that I could think of was an over tightened pipe bursting inside a wall and flooding both the apartment and that parking lot.

Or worse: The Noise coming back.

But the ground beneath the spigot was dry and The Noise was still silent. I picked my way across the wet concrete and went inside.

The first thing I noticed upon walking in the door was a fire extinguisher discarded beside the front bookshelf. The muzzle was white with powder. The plastic pin had been pulled and the wall clip torn off.

“Did we have a fire?” I asked. Nothing smelled like smoke. There was no obvious evidence of burning. My first thought was to look at the stove, but the kitchen was undisturbed.

“Oh, yeah,” said the Curmudgeonly Lion casually from the couch. “The dumpster was I fire. I put it out.”

No biggie.

He didn’t do it alone: the upstairs neighbor has helped and another guy had run the hose from the spigot, explaining the water on the ground, and the fire department had been called but the fire wasn’t even smoking anymore by the time they arrived.

Leave it to the Lion to just go ahead and handle a problem. And he wonders why I admire him so much.


~ by Gwydhar Gebien on July 16, 2015.

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