And I shall call it: “First Entry”
There are a pair of boots sitting outside the door of the first apartment in my hallway, which have never moved in over two months.
This will become relevant later on.
To be honest, my only thought for starting a blog was to have some place to post my list of movies at the end of the year. I took the idea to list every movie I watch in a year from Emily Horne (creator of A Softer World, not this one) after I saw the list she did for the books she read in 2010. I decided to go with movies instead of books since I could probably sum up my yearly reading list in a tweet. Evidently, Emily did one for her movies as well, so I have a goal to which I hope to pass. So far, all my free time in Arlington, coupled with the fact that I can watch feature films in the theatre for free, has made it pretty easy to get in a movie at least every other day. At this pace I could get in one hundred before the summer ends. I also hope to see more films released this year than the dozen 2010’s I saw last year. I’ve seen seven 2011 films up to this point and we haven’t even gotten to the good half of the year.
The long winded movie post will have to wait though, because that’s not what I had planned to write about tonight. Tonight I’ve been subtly curious with yet another moment of random chance or coincidence. I realise that the vast majority of the time, random happenstance causes everything to work in such a way that nothing of real significance occurs. Most events that happen that we remember were caused by something that was planned or at least conceived with at least some forethought. When random chance does cause something memorable to happen we often cling to that event for a while, at least subconsciously, as evidence that perhaps not all acts of randomness are, well, random. I know at day’s end, if something occurs that I cannot link to other prior events with substantial connections, then I must admit that random chance just got lucky and I was the witness.
Today was one of those days. To preface this part I have to inform readers that the building I am currently living in is undergoing renovations. While my views on the renovations themselves are an entirely different conversation, the noteworthy point is that all the apartments are missing their numbers. Walking up and down the hallway, you wouldn’t have any idea which room was which unless you were in the building before the renovations started. This, for the most part, does not concern me, as I know how to get to and out of my apartment and that is all that matters to me. However, I recently ordered a package from Amazon being shipped by a carrier I had never heard of and that research led me to believe wasn’t the most reliable. While the standard carriers (UPS, Fedex, USPS) leave packages within the mailroom, this company appeared to try and deliver packages to either the apartment itself or the front desk. Since my building doesn’t have a front desk, I only assumed the carrier would try to find my door. To ease the procurement of my package, I decided to tape a sticky note with my apartment number to the top of my door frame, and sure enough it worked and I received the package without any hassle.
A few hours later I was alone cooking dinner. As I normally do, I had my headphones on while I was cooking. During this time, EMTs and firefighters were pounding on my door. Apparently, someone either had a device that signaled for help or had called 911 because they were looking for someone in need of assistance. I finally heard all the commotion in the hallway in-between songs and rushed out to find them trying to figure out which apartment was which, since none of them had number markers. I then watched as one of the firefighters broke down the door to the apartment next to mine, taking a guess from the number on my door and the information from the lady at the end of the hall that it was the apartment they were looking for, only to find out he was wrong. Eventually they noticed someone had scribbled with a blue crayon the apartment number they were looking for above the door at the beginning of the hall, and while I had to return to the stove to make sure I didn’t start an actual fire, I could hear them brake down the second door and begin to assist someone out on a stretcher.
The rest of the night I’ve been pondering about what happened. Had I not put my apartment number on my doorframe earlier in the day, the firemen could have just as easily broken down my door, since numerically it would have made sense (if he only had the information from the lady at the end of the hall). The fact is, the apartment they were looking for (405) didn’t make any sense logistically (at the beginning of the hallway), and if it wasn’t for sticky notes and crayon scribblings they could have broken down a lot more doors and maybe not gotten to that person in time.
You may remember how I started this post. It was about a pair of boots that have been sitting outside the first apartment in my hallway for over two months. Until today, I had never seen those boots move. Now, they’re fallen over, next to a door with a full length crack where a brave man took an axe to wood and metal to help a life. I know that it was all just random chance, but since I moved here, the one day that it mattered to know which apartment was which just happened to be the day I decided to tape my number to my door. I don’t think any of this was fate really. Fate would have been if I was the one that needed help, or if today was the day they put actual numbers back on the doors. It was just another random set of events, but it’s still interesting to think about.