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Putting Out Fires (Slice of Life)

House On Fire

About five, maybe six months back now, my downstairs neighbor's apartment caught fire.
Concerned for my daughter's safety, I secured her in my own apartment and then raced down to the lower level. Once there, I found the front and rear doors of the home thrown open, and the stove ablaze. I stepped into the apartment, took off my shirt, and put out the fire. I then went through the house, calling for anyone. Although bedroom doors were closed, I assumed the people living there had fled. They're young, and of course, daddy is on the housing board.

I call 911 and tell them what I know. Then, I call my landlady and relay the information.
 No, I didn't break into the house, although I would've. I didn't disturb anything. No one was home. Who's gonna reimburse me for my shirt? No one? Okay, great. Terrific.

For some reason I still can't quite wrap my mind around, my downstairs neighbors develop a salty attitude towards me. They are a couple. The guy, who looks to be in his early twenties, actually came close to calling me out once. On a personal note, I cannot stand this type of attitude. You screw up, someone else cleans up your mess, and you hate them for it? Anyone ever hear about taking responsibility for their own actions?

Fast forward to yesterday. As I'm taking the laundry out, I come across couple walking their dog, and their cage of laundry that is set directly in the center of the walkway. As I make my way around, the girl smiles at me genuinely and apologizes for leaving their stuff right there.
I'm floored by the gesture. I tell her that it's no problem, and continue on my way. He, however, picks up their little dog and races over to her, practically dragging her back to their apartment. Moments later, as I make my way home, I catch him yelling at her, presumably about me.

I know a bad situation when I see it. Unfortunately, I've seen it so many times that I could probably tell you exactly how it will end.

For a moment, I consider physical intervention. Sure, I know I haven't got it like I used to, but cowards are cowards. They rarely keep fighting when they feel overmatched.

But I don't.
I can't call the police because nothing actually happened, though I hear them yelling at each other enough. The law needs proof in order to act...and one person willing to say they've had enough.

I am sick of this. I am sick of people not taking responsibility for their own actions, I am sick of those who encourage it, and I am sick of people using control and fear and calling it love. I'm sick of bad situations and the helplessness I feel at seeing them.

Long ago, I could step up and do something. But that time has passed and I'm still searching for a way to deal with it now.

That's just me.

Thanks for reading.


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