The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

My Father's 95th birthday and why I might not be up to par for a while.

My father's birthday started out with Azure and myself taking a 20-year- 
old Accura in to get a tailpipe replaced and reset after I backed the car 
into a curb yesterday. I still have no proper eyeglasses and was nervous 
after difficulties with the family over my father - we're in Pennsylvania 
helping him, along with my nephew and his partner, since he had a pace- 
maker put in on April 20 when his heartbeat dropped to 38. Ok, we ate at 
Denny's waiting for the car, got the car, went back home, and I lay down 
to take a nap - we were returning to Brooklyn this afternoon. About ten 
minutes later I was wakened by Azure who said there was smoke in the 
house. we couldn't find the source. I went down into the basement and 
found a fire in one of the rooms - furniture burning, specifically beds. 
Azure and Amie got my father out of the house (which was decorated for his 
birthday) and onto a lawnchair in front. I screamed for water, ran 
upstairs and found some tonic which I threw on the fire - the flames, 
about two feet high - were too much for it. So Dan and Azure started 
bringing water down to me and in about twenty minutes to a half hour I had 
the fire out, dizzy from smoke which filled the house. I found a sink in 
the basement that made filling the pots we used a lot easier. The firemen 
arrived and I convinced them not to use their hoses - I was still pouring 
water on the fire. They didn't and we left the house. I returned to the 
house and met the firechief who told me someone had been smoking in the 
basement. No one smoked so we realized someone had broken in. After the 
firemen left we looked around, found no one, called the police and a 
locksmith. The police had no idea what happened and the locksmith 
installed a very heavy deadbolt on the basement door and left. Azure tried 
the deadbolt and it broke internally and the locksmith returned. The cat - 
Katski, my father's companion for nine years - had run out of the house 
and to this point hasn't returned. We looked all over for the cat. We 
locked up the house and opened everything to let the smoke out. Neighbors 
came over. Tonight a circuit breaker turned part of the house dark. We 
have no idea what set it off. We have had three ghost cat sightings in the 
house but no cat and nowhere to hide we haven't looked. My father is 
distraught. We got all the burned furniture out on the back terrace. Azure 
is distraught. We have to figure out what really caused the fire, who 
might have broken in, was it deliberate, we don't think so, we didn't even 
hear anyone in the house at all. We have to have an electric- ian come to 
give us some idea if the circuitry had anything to do with it. Other than 
the furniture we managed to save everything and clean the place up. It's 
odd to think I saved my father's life given our horrendous relationship 
over the years. I'm the damaged oldest child of three sib- lings. I 
negotiate as much as I can with my brother and sister, my brother 
negotiates with my sister, my sister talks to my father, my brother and I 
try to talk to my father. The house is now under lock and key and Azure 
and I keep going out looking for the cat. Sandy, I'll be on tomorrow; 
Foofwa, I'm going to try and get the grants done; Myk, please let me know 
what night i can call you. I have problems seeing which didn't affect the 
ukulele pieces since I really don't need vision for that. I'm neglecting 
Second Life for a bit. I apologize to everyone for being out of 
commission, I seem to live from crisis to crisis, should not be down here 
so soon after eye surgery for example. Please if you need a response from 
me, be a little patient. I can't see straight and tomorrow the problems 
we're sure will start all over again. We're going to return to Brooklyn on 
Monday if we can.

The really sad things, the cat is gone, my father close to tears, and the
house all decorated by my nephew and his girlfriend for a nice 95th birth-
day party. He was getting better and better after the surgery (there were
complications) but now is repeated a lot more, ever since the cat ran out
of the house...

Sat May  9 23:37:41 EDT 2009

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