After some East Village adventures with Aaron and after seeing a craptacular movie, I headed back to Staten Island. On my walk from the ferry terminal to Brandon's, I passed a burning building. I stopped. WHAT THE FUCK?! DID I JUST WALK PAST A BURNING BUILDING?! There wasn't really anyone else on Bay Street because it was so late (about 12:30AM), so I figured it was my duty to investigate...from a distance. I couldn't see too well behind some trees and bushes and things that were blocking the aforementioned burning building, so I wasn't really sure if it was indeed a burning building at all. But I did kind of see what looked like orange crackling flames and white smoke coming out of a house. And I did detect the smell of burning wood. For a moment, I thought somebody was having a really out-of-control barbecue, but WHO THE FUCK BARBECUES AT 12:30AM?!
I called Brandon to ask him what I should do about his island. Half-asleep, he suggested I call 911. And so I did.
DISPATCHER: 911 Emergency.
PRINCE: I think there's a fire.
DISPATCHER: I'll put you through to the fire department.
FIRE DISPATCHER: Fire Department.
PRINCE: I'm on the street, and I think there's a fire.
FIRE DISPATCHER: What's the address?
PRINCE: I don't know. I was just walking on the—
FIRE DISPATCHER: Street and cross street?
PRINCE: It's on Bay. Cross street is Victory.
FIRE DISPATCHER: What's your phone number?
PRINCE: XXX-XXXX. I was just walking on the street! I'm not staying! I have to go home!
And I continued on my way, in a hurry. I mean, what if it wasn't a fire? What if I had accidentally called in a false alarm? Don't they fine you for shit like that?!
Within minutes, about a dozen fire engines and a dozen police cars descended upon Bay and Victory. I ran back down to the corner to see if they found the right house, and, indeed, the vehicles swarmed the area, firemen plugging their hoses into hydrants and running around frantically.
On my entire 15-minute walk back to Brandon's house, an absurd—absolutely absurd!—number of fire trucks and police cars zoomed past me toward the scene of the fire. It must've been a slow news night because it seemed that all of the Staten Island fire department and police department were on Bay and Victory.
I called back a groggy Brandon and declared, "I'm a hero! I just saved all of Staten Island from burning down!" He was amused at best. But I didn't care. I may have lost faith in humanity, but I guess there's a part of me deep down somewhere who still wants to save it.