Okay, whoever up there has been trying to get my attention, I'M LISTENING!
On Tuesday afternoon, the subcontractors who had been hired by RestorX to decontaminate and clean my furnace (as the last part of the sewage flood cleanup before reconstruction could begin) accidentally ignited a piece of foam that was used in the cleanup process within the ductwork. When the exchange kicked in, it turned my oil furnace and the ducts into a giant blowtorch. I grabbed my daughter's guinea pig cage (with James Brown inside), let Wiley out the front and left the back open for Punky. I called 911 as the furnace guys tried their best to stop the flames. But the thick black smoke was too much, and I sat on the front lawn and stared in wonder as my house burned.
The house that Sam and I bought as a young couple with a toddler, back when I was working as a concept artist in the videogame industry. Our first home. The only home Tyler can remember. The only home Kayleigh has ever known. The home Sam died in.
The kids were at school, so they had to be told. Why, in the name of an ordered universe, must my children have to withstand yet ANOTHER horror? I don't care about being kicked around - I've been a rock all my life. But leave my kids alone, damnit.
We'd just been replacing some of the stuff we'd lost in the flood. Now we have to replace the replacements.
All the stuff we'd saved the night of the flood had been stacked upstairs. Poof.
The new TV, the new leather couches that were my attempt to create a stable home out of what chaos my life had become in the last year. We enjoyed them for 5 days. All the new studio equipment, the work computers (jury is out on salvaging hard drives - the laptop drive may be saved, thank you Dell). Photo albums, CD & DVD archives. Our film collection, our music collection, our original music master tapes and digital archives. Our business - from tax records to content. 1 of a kind artwork by friends and by me. The huge forest painting I did for Sam's 26th birthday. The Ovation guitar she gave me for my 22nd. 20 years of our life together, and family history dating back generations.
Just stuff, sure. But HISTORY. It ain't the Library of Alexandria, but it may as well be to me, to my kids.
The contractor and fire inspectors agreed - it's back to bare external studs and rebuild from scratch. At least 5 months. The house across the street is a rental and the insurance companies are trying to get us in there on a 6 month lease. It would be the ideal annex for the rebuild operation.
The wagons are again being circled, and the community is pulling together. How sick I am of having to be the object and beneficiary of that community once again. Not that I'm ungrateful - I am blessed beyond imagination to have an incredible network of friends, family and community (both local and international). I just don't want to NEED help again. I've been needy enough this past year. Still, when this stuff gets put on you, how else can you possibly stand up without the help of others? The lyric from Nada Surf's "Do it Again" say it perfectly:
Maybe this weight was a gift
Like I had to see what I could lift
Honestly, this is shock talking. I'm not as rational on the inside. The inside is crouched screaming maniacally inside an old steamer trunk. I know the folks who read this blog care for my family and for me. At this point our basic needs are being addressed, but if someone reading this wants to help in some way, they should probably communicate with my brother, since my access will be spotty until further notice.
If any of you guys have an "in" with admin, can you please find out when they expect to send the locusts?
I'M KIDDING. DO NOT SEND LOCUSTS.
OK... back to racking up my cell minutes sorting out my life from this moment forward. Take care - I hope to post again soon...
More pics here. Thanks Gavin. BTW, the dead gray cat is Punky. She used to be white.