Sorry, back from hiatus with a scary story of nearly having Nw/oMH world HQ burn down. Nw/oMH world HQ is backed on one side by unused train tracks; these tracks have fences and buildings very closely along the sides and there are many portions of it popular with homeless people. Most are pretty OK guys, actually, but there are others with addictions or mental illness.
About 1:30 a.m., my boyfriend, EvilNinja, and I are upstairs when we hear some yelling. We figured it was a domestic argument (our neighbors – “Jumbo Arms” and her husband, “Weasel Boy” yell about everything. But no, the yelling was about a fire that had broken out about 20 feet from our back door.
We ran out with the fire extinguisher, after calling 911, to see the fire covered 6 feet of fence, the back third of a detached garage, and an entire tree, 20 feet tall. Embers were blowing onto our roof. I met up with the guy who was yelling for help, and he had a story to tell:
This guy (and I’ll get to his name in a second, so you’ll get the relevancy) was in between apartments and was crashing with a friend who lives down the street from me. He didn’t have a key to her place. So after an hour and a half on buses to get back from his job, he was waiting on the street at midnight. At 12:30 or so, a man propositioned him, repeatedly, forcefully, to go with him down the tracks and … uh… exchange money for a personal service. No, not dry cleaning. More personal.
At 12:45, he discovered this would-be trick was his neighbor. Who’s married.
At 1:20 a.m., still waiting, he saw a homeless guy start the fire on the tracks for no good reason. It wasn’t to keep warm – it was 65 or more out. Then the homeless guy passed out, almost falling face first in the fire. Our hero ran over to stop the guy from falling into the fire, only to get swatted at a few times by a crazy drunk. While this altercation was going on, the fire had started consuming the old, dry wooden fence, and became an emergency.
The firefighters quickly arrived en masse, put out the fire, the cops found and ID’d the homeless guy all of 50 yards away, passed out again, my Nw/oMH’s World HQ were saved, and I got to meet some of my neighbors, including the guy who saved the day: Jacarius.