Snug in my bed this morning, I was enjoying a particularly enthralling dream when I was interrupted by the blaring of an alarm. Annoyed and confused, I opened my eyes and began to assess the situation. Screeching noise, blinking fire detector...okay, fire alarm is going off. Now what? Shaking off the last remnants of sleep, I went into the bathroom to pee and think. As I sat there, dreamily pondering what to do next, it suddenly occurred to me that I was being a supreme idiot. I live on the third floor, and there isn't a fire escape. If there really was a fire, I was wasting my time sitting on a toilet, just waiting to start roasting.
I jumped up and ran into my bedroom, sniffing madly. I didn't smell anything yet, but that wasn't enough to reassure me. I started tossing clothes out of my laundry bag, looking for a comfy bra. As I dug deeper into the bag, it suddenly came to me: my aversion to going outside without the appropriate supportive undergarments might just kill me. I settled for the nearest bra and started looking for jeans.
As I pulled on my jeans, I started thinking about what items I should take with me. My cats, of course, and my iPhone. But then there was my grandmother's set of rosary beads, buried away somewhere....and my passport. My wallet and credit cards were easy; I had everything packed into my purse. I started to create a mental list of what I really needed to take with me, and all at once this inner voice spoke up, loud and clear: nothing. Aside from my pets, there was nothing in my apartment that I couldn't leave behind. Rosaries? Yes, they remind me of my grandmother, but I think about her all the time, anyway. Credit cards? Screw it, I can get new ones. Cash? Eh, I'll make more.
I peeked out the window, looking for any sign that my building had gone up in flames. Everything seemed fine. I then looked at my cats, who were both sprawled out on the floor, legs akimbo, not a care in the world. I've always assumed that, if a fire were to start, the animals would be the first to react. Clearly, my cats weren't too concerned about their death by inferno. They didn't smell any smoke, I didn't smell any smoke...hmm. I grabbed a chair and examined the smoke alarm. A constant beep is bad, apparently, and an intermittent one means that it's time for new batteries. False alarm. I ripped the detector off the wall and took out the batteries. Problem solved.
I then went back to bed, secure in the new knowledge that I have everything I need, and my wants are all replaceable.