Every now and then I have mentioned my quiet life. Today was not one of those quiet days.
My son Duane lives in the apartment next door. On the other side of his apartment is another, occupied by a younger married couple. I have not met them, but Duane tells me the wife is a pleasant person who works to support them both. The husband apparently has some serious mental issues. Duane has seen him outside in the parking lot back of our building, running around swinging a machete.
This afternoon Duane came into my apartment to tell me about what was happening. He said the guy next door to him had been crashing about in his apartment. Then Duane saw him in the parking lot, wielding a baseball bat, taking swings at parked vehicles. Someone called the police.
I listened to the scanner for a while to see what was happening. At one point the guy had a gas can and lighter and was threatening to set the can on fire. The police were trying to talk him out of the apartment. Eventually he did start a fire in the apartment and that was when the talk ended and he was taken out, hopefully to a hospital for some help.
The fire department was on stand-by and quickly put the fire out. But there was a lot of smoke and the building was evacuated. A firemen helped me down the stairs. A business owner a couple of doors down the street offered to let Duane and me stay in his office. It was cold. It was raining. We were grateful.
When the smoke had cleared, two firemen helped me back up the stairs to my apartment. My phone began ringing almost as soon as I was back home. The kids were checking up on their brother and mother. One of them had driven here but couldn't get close as the streets surrounding my building had been closed off.
I am none the worse for wear, with the exception of a bit of embarrassment at walking down the street wearing my floor length robe and big, fuzzy socks over my leg wraps. If I had known I was going out for the evening, I would have dressed for the occasion. :)
God bless all those, and there were a lot of them, who came to take care of a very bad situation. And if you are so inclined, please offer a prayer for the fellow who caused all of this. It must be terrifying to be living with the demons of the mind that would make someone do the things he did.
And now, if you please, I will go back to my quiet life.