Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fire and fragility

I'm a worry wart (or is it wort?). This is a well-known fact. In fact, I find it impossible to hide it. The people I love are exceedingly important to me (maybe unhealthily so, but I'll keep that for the shrinking couch, when/if I decide to go again). I am the one who needs to know you're home safely when you leave my house. I will phone you at 3am in the morning to check, if you don't. New people may think this is as a result of The Tragedy*, and it probably is heightened by it but, really, I've always been like this. I categorically cannot not say goodbye at the end of conversations. If I get cut off just before we're going to say goodbye, I will call back just to say it. I'm a freak. Of the common-garden-worrying variety. It's intrinsic. I like to think it's endearing, but I may, well, just be kidding myself.

The thing is, though, that I always find it amazing how quickly we forget the fragility of it all. This has all been brought about by my phone ringing at the crack of dawn this morning (the sound of the phone piercing the dawnly sounds always fills me with panic). It was just my mother (bless her) to say there were big fires in the city, traffic would be atrocious, leave early.

Then The Pond ambled through my room to use my shower and informed me her friend had just called from closer to the city with scary tales of smoke inhalation and people being evacuated from their homes. More panic. You see, The BFF lives on that particular mountain that was gushing with flames and smoke. So, yip, you guessed it: the poor boy (who'd been up half the night, what with fires and things!) had to be woken by me at about 6:17am, just to check he was okay. Normally he sleeps like the dead but, three rings in, he answered and informed me he was fine. Judging by his tone, he'd been expecting my call. Like I said, I'm known for my worry wortedness (wartedness?).

I duly checked with other loved ones in the city who live not quite so close to the edge, at a more decent hour - all good, one set had to evacuate but are back safely now. The whole thing is just a reminder of how small we really are in the nature sense, but how huge the people we love are, in the close-to-home sense (if that makes sense).

It's a good reminder though, to keep us aware of the thin line we walk on. The BFF did it to me a couple of months ago too, when he cut his hand open by slipping on a wet kitchen floor holding a porcelain mug... There's nothing like watching somebody important being stitched up while losing an inordinate amount of blood and going very pale, to remind you how fragile we are.

So, yes, a rambling post on worry warts (worts), people I love, and the fragility of our existence. In less dramatic news, my office (also being on edge of said fiery mountain) is covered in a fine layer of ash, and the air I'm breathing in, is unpleasantly smoky. Cough, cough.

Here's a pic from last night which The BFF took:

I wonder if worry wortedness (wartedness) is really genetic?

*I will, at some stage go into details, well, when I do.


Miranda said...

HOLY MOSES look at that fire. Jeez, no wonder you worry! I remember being in Cape Town one of those big fire years (2000?) when there was so much ash in the air it was falling like snow and the sun looked like the moon.

I am a bit of a worrier too. I cannot cannot end conversations or encounters on a bad note (even imagined) and, and, and. xxx

Shiny said...

Oh, me too! I've always wondered what it would be like to be one of those slam-the-door-in-a-huff-and-retreat-into-days-long-silence-people! I just can't do it. And I get your imaginary bit too. And so many more ands... sigh x

Rae said...

is there going to be any cape town left when I come for me holiday?
Brown owl, you need to organise a tortoise rescue operation.

Just thought I'd give you something extra to worry about.

Shiny said...

Oh, Rae, no! I've been terribly worried about the li'l tortoises but BFF told me last night that they're very heat-resistant when they go into their little shells and I'm choosing to believe that x