smoke and fire

A letter from Allison:

Pam, tell your readers I got on my knees in front of my computer and begged and prayed for them – the most generous people on the Internet – to please help the people of San Diego by giving to the American Red Cross. Looking at the pictures, even after everything that has happened to me and Chris, my heart breaks and my stomach turns. Seriously, in memory of Murphy, and because the loss of one’s home and possessions is perhaps the most devastating tragedy an individual can face, we have to rally. I don’t know what else to do.

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The coverage on television is non-stop. You smell smoke everywhere. The destruction is beyond imaginable, and it’s the most humbling feeling. Everything is on fire. It’s truly hard to imagine. They’ve shut down part of I-5, which is our interstate highway, which means there’s no leaving Southern California easily. Now you have to take the 101. What happens if they can’t get those fires contained? How do we get out of here?

We’ve been keeping the windows closed because the air is so dangerous right now, and then I made the stupid decision to clean the bathroom with serious bleach. The fumes forced us to work down the street at a coffee shop, where I heard people cheering for a section of LA County that was burning. “Let those motherfuckers burn. Burn, motherfuckers, burn,” I heard them sing. Yes, these times bring out the best in some people, but it also brings out the very worst.

I’m covered in work lately, so I rarely see live television. My latest Tarzan recap is up, which took many more hours than usual, as I watched fire footage between every other scene.

They’re showing homes burning on television. The cameras just stay with these huge houses as they fill with flames. I couldn’t watch. When Allison and Chris’ apartment burned, I downloaded and watched the footage from their local newscasts because I couldn’t believe it, I couldn’t understand that a place I had gone to over and over again was gone.

These fires are enormous. On NPR they were reporting hundred-foot flames. These are the words we use in ghost stories, in horror movies, in tall tales and legends. This is how we describe mythological wars between mortals and immortals. This isn’t what we’re supposed to see in our backyards.