Time has shown me over the years that serendipity is my shadow; it has stalked me like a jealous lover with scrupulous intentions. I have accepted my magnetism to circumstances due to its consistent appearance. Instead of remaining comfortably ignorant I cultured myself to recognize it’s variable disguises. Fortunately, this tends to be a positive attribute on an extreme note. The polarity of danger is safety; both can transition interchangeably with a simple intervention. I am the intervener.
College has always been a social experience for me, of which has been a platform to make friends and have copious amounts of foolish fun. On this particular night I got together with a few friends from school that I had gotten very close with. We piled into my car and headed to a house party; because I was driving I had no expectations of getting as inebriated as I did. Flashing forward, over the few hours my discrepancy was hindered by a handful of mixed drinks followed by the 3-foot bong toke that led to my functional demise. Suddenly my world accelerated in a spinning motion and I had to grip my seat in order to remain from falling down. My vision has doubled in a crossed fashion: I could not drive if we wanted to live. Feeling like an ass, I asked my friend Raquel to drive us to her house where the rest of my car unloaded and I remained to contemplate my next move: I could sleep in my car or I could wait for a moment and drive home. Raquel extended her couch to me, but something compelled me to take the risk and make the attempt to excurse to my own bed. I took a twenty-minute mental deliberation with the keys in my hand; the metaphorical devil perched on my shoulder was arm in arm with its moral counterpart. My decision was made.
When I pulled into my driveway, a surge of relief took the form of a large toothy smile. A delightfully hickory sweet scent filled the air upon my arrival, making me dance as I stumbled into my house and made my way to my room. I was filled with a drunken joy as I slipped into the safety of my bed and began to settle into sleep. My eyes were closed for three peaceful minutes until they were interrupted by a peculiar whirling sound. The whooshing sent off cognoscente alarm bells but I could have never imagined the scene I was about to encounter.
When my lids lifted, complete horror consumed me. In the reflection of my mirrored closet was a vision of confused apocalyptic chaos: the sky was on fire. I urgently jumped out of bed and bolted to my grandparent’s room screaming “FIRE,” just like in the simulated drills. I had no clue the extent of the fire, only that it was knocking at my window. I was stuttering in shock pointing like a fool at the burning scene. My grandfather busted in my room searching for the damage that he assumed I created, and to his disappointed dread he found our dear neighbors house drenched in furious flames.
There wasn’t a millisecond let to waste in the next moments. The emergency hotline was already in dial and my dogs were under each arm. Some woman was asking me, “What’s your address?” I don’t know, we just moved in and I am drunk. I gave her the wrong numbers but the correct street, so that was good enough reason to hang up and address the present danger. Fear was clinging to my back with an anxious grip and I saw people line the street warming their sights on the terror. The large branched tree in the front yard had caught like a candle. I was stunned; not a half hour ago the street was asleep and now it’s filled with screaming strangers. The house to the left of ours was completely engulfed in an angry inferno so bright it could suffice as a honing lighthouse for incoming ships along the coast. Three large shattering explosions followed which I later found out were the car’s windows busting out due to the fumes as well as two kegs in the garage deconstructing. My brain was in overdrive, the crisis at hand was my shot of sobriety and reality set in. If I had not made every decision prior in the night, with the precise timing down to the last minute, things would have played out much differently. I had made the right amount of stupid yet providential judgments: I was never so happy to have consciously drove drunk. At least my first impression of a plane crash that wiped out the neighborhood wasn’t reality, my irrational understanding of what was happening was just a split radical phobia. Reality is that I was the first responder to the nightmare initiating danger to transform to safety. This is just one of many times serendipity has channelled itself into my path. I welcome it without trepidation because I know its intentions are good. Fortuity graciously served its duty in preserving life that day, and I was its tool.
*I do not encourage drinking and driving in any way, but it had a major hand in the circumstances that played out in my post. Please note that this was a freak incidence where it served well and if drinking TAKE A CAB!
XX Brianna Loren