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He wakes up. He does not know why this happens. There is a loud direct voice informing him that this is a fire alarm and everyone must leave the building by the closest exit but not the elevator do not use the elevator dear God please do not use the elevator. He wakes up more. She wakes up. The cat wakes up. They try to wrestle the cat into a bag. The cat wins. The cat is not in the bag. The cat looks defiant. The alarm is still going. They have to leave. The cat remains. They walk down the stairs hoping it is a false alarm so as not to have a cat death car crash on their hands on his hands he does not know how she feels and he never asks. There are other pockets of people walking down the stairs. It is the middle of the night. It is raining outside. It is humid. It is entertaining to see what clothes people throw on in an emergency. Everyone looks like poorly dressed clowns. The alarm is a false alarm. Walking back up eight flights of stairs. The alarm starts again. They all pause for a moment tired and reckless they do not turn round but continue walking back to their apartments. Lying down they try to fall asleep for hours they try to fall asleep but they fail to fall asleep then they both realise they have been awake for hours and they weep and laugh with relief and with joy at their shared agony and the cat is asleep and hold no bridge at being left behind even though it turned out to be a false alarm and it would have been fine anyway but even so the cat remains magnanimous at their treachery. The cat will use it later, no doubt. They read then they sleep then the day is underway and the sun is out and the pollen count is low and the sandwiches are full of meat and the glasses are full of beer and full of lemonade and the football is entertaining and the day is a good day but for the wars and the mass incarceration and the poisons and the corruption and the fragility but these are only background noise for now they will be the main event soon enough so he ignored them until the time when he won’t vs able to ignore them anymore. He reads Rebecca Solnit. He goes to sleep.

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