So I have a confession to make, and it’s going to make me sound like a crazy person (or crazier than normal, let’s say). Occasionally, I do this thing where I “state my intentions to the Universe.” I do it in a kind of joking way, and in reality I don’t believe that doing so makes any difference, but I do it anyway as a sort of insurance policy. For example, on several occasions, I’ve stated out loud during the day, “I hope I get a disaster call tonight.” Somehow, someway, it always seems to work out that we get calls on those nights. Sometimes I mix it up and put time constraints in there, like, “Universe, please let us get a call tonight, and have it be before 8pm.” And more often than not, we get that call, and it’s before 8pm. I kid you not when I say this has been going on since around February – whenever I really want to go out, I state my intentions to the universe, and we seem to get a call that night. I realize it’s just a coincidence, but it’s starting to creep out the other volunteers.
Yesterday, around 3:30 in the afternoon, I made the following proclamation: “Universe, I’d really love it if we get a call early in the evening, maybe between 6 and 7pm, and then it’d be awesome if we can get another call as we’re leaving the first site.” No joke, I got my first call in the new position at 6:05 and it was a doozy. What was supposed to be a single-family fire turned into a multi-family fire and we spent hours on-scene. While we were there, the team lead that was with me got a call from our staff on duty telling us that we had another call to respond to when we were done. So after about 4 hours at the scene of one fire, we had to go to a local hospital for someone affected by another fire. Which is how I ended up hanging out outside of the ICU and the chapel (which looks super-cool and has this awesome huge wind chime outside of it – see above) of a local hospital past midnight.
When we finally left, we realized neither one of us had eaten since lunch, and we needed to fill up the gas tank in our vehicle. So off we went in search of food, to one of the few good places that is open late at night – Tootie’s Famous Italian Beef. We got to Tootie’s without incident and chilled out there to finish our paperwork, and then started to head to a gas station before going back to the chapter. But since we were in the South Side at around 1:30am on a Friday night (Saturday morning), we were dodging drunk idiots the entire time. At one point, we were completely stopped at a red light when all the sudden someone crashed into the back of our SUV. The guy who wrecked into us didn’t even seem coherent enough to realize he’d hit us. I turned to the other volunteer with this “oh crap” look on my face and he told me just to turn and keep driving; it didn’t seem like the guy had hit us hard enough to do much damage. So I did, and the guy followed us, and then pulled up beside us, driving super-slow (I wanted him to get past us so he couldn’t hit us again). I admit, when he rolled up beside us super-slow and he was crouched down low in his seat with his window down, I had a few seconds of panic as I thought, “This dude is going to shoot us.” Obviously he didn’t, but when we rolled down our window, he just glared at us. The other volunteer just told him, “It’s okay, friend. We’re good. You can go. No big deal,” and then the guy sped off, driving in between two lanes. As I heard the words he was saying to the guy, I realized that the other volunteer probably had the same thought as me. The thing is, while a lot of people agree that the work we do is good, there are always going to be people who know someone who’s had a bad experience (having to wait too long for assistance, not getting the financial help they think they deserve, etc), and there’s always a possibility that not everyone is happy to see us roll up in a company vehicle with logos all over it. It’s not the first time I’ve momentarily feared for my life while doing this, and I’m positive it won’t be the last. But really, for a second there, I wondered who would know where we were and how to identify us.
So yeah, it was kind of an insane night, but it was awesome (even with the accident at the end). I wish I could be on-call tonight to get into some more trouble, but alas, this girl has to earn a living.
Sigh. Real life is so boring when I’m not on-call. 🙂