Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Fire

Perhaps it's the same morbid curiosity or gravitational pull to tragedy that seems to orbit my life in general, but I went down to Queen and Portland today to see the devastation from the fire. On my way down, one of the stores was blasting The Last Waltz, and I smiled, despite the cold. Good grief that's an appropriate record. The streets are all blocked off and there are no traffic sounds, which always amazes me in the middle of a city holding upwards of 4 million people at any given time.

I was standing there taking some pictures when a fire fighter smiled at me, and then came over for a chat. He said it was hard to believe there were huge buildings there just a week ago. That the fire kept them busy for longer than a while. That the investigation is still underway because they don't know yet whether or not there was criminality involved. Also, he mentioned that they still haven't accounted for all of the missing people (and that's when a very irate neighbourhood woman started shouting at him that she was one of said souls). I left to let her get out what she needed to get out, and moved down taking even more pictures. Even though I grew up in a house with a fire fighter father, I've never really seen this kind of devastation up close, and the writer in me was sad and curious.

And even though we haven't lived in the area for three years, and even then were up at College, over the course of my lifetime having spent so much time down there, whether it was with Amanda and the skinheads when we were seventeen, or during university when I was home for Christmas going to hear bands on the various different levels of the Big Bop, or returning a video with Zesty, or having brunch just north at Mimi's, it's hard not to realize that another part of the city just won't be the same ever again.

1 comment:

Zesty said...

Oh I can't even go there yet. This WAS my hood for five years and I am still in shock at the devastation I've heard about and seen in pictures, never mind having actually seen it.

Zesty sense tingling. I suspect a dirty deed. You heard it here first. Or maybe I'm just paranoid.