I don't know how to describe being woken at 5:10am by the sound of a car horn blasting solidly. Sitting up and waking up enough to realise, fuck, someone's fucking car alarm has gone off and falling back into the pillows hoping that rude awakening won't last long. To lie there and wonder how long before they go and turn it off as the car horn sound continues relentlessly. Then sitting up again hearing the bang. Was that a gunshot? noo..surely not, this is Pakuranga for goodness sakes, not Ponsonby or someother more passionate neighbourhood. Rolling over and closing my eyes thinking the horn'll have to stop sounding now - soon - surely. Then voices - a womans, a mans - yelling. Maybe it's a domestic dispute. Who the hell has domestic disputes this time of the day. There goes my neighbours security door and lights. She might think it's her car alarm but it's not loud enough to be her blimin' car alarm - I know because that'd sounded sometime after midnight last night giving me a heart jolting fright. She's nosey I figure as I hear her triple locked gate being unlocked and opened. The horn stops sounding. There is another loud bang. More voices. Arg, let me sleep. The horn that had stopped for a minute or so starts _again_.
The voices, much louder. My security lights trigger and my gate crashes open and the male voice is outside my door as he pounds on the security mesh. I get up and open my door but not the security mesh he's yelling.. I don't know what he's saying for a second or two then "your car? is that your car?" no, I tell him. My car isn't here, my son has my car. "well someones car is on fire" he yells as he runs from my gate and to the next house. I turn around and see the flames. The banging are the windows blowing out, the car is completely ablaze "has someone called the fire brigade?" I yelled after the guy he yells back they have and I grab my camera.
But I don't want to go outside. Standing in my driveway'd be far too close to the fire which is right outside my gate - my letterbox. I don't want to feel the heat of it and I know you don't have to be very close to do that and standing on my driveway'd put me far too close for my liking. A large fire appliance arrives, it's red lights swirling strange shadows in the dark street, picking out neighbours standing on lawns and in driveways. I'm truly last to this party. Clouds of misty smoke rise over my fence where flames were popping and crackling a few moments ago as they use their extinguishers to put out the fire. I can't see much, but I take a photo from my ranchslider window - my fence blocks all but the billows of white smoke and the helmets of the firemen. I see the chief fireman open my gate so I meet him at the door. "A bit of a dramatic way to start the day" I say. He smiles and asks me if that's my car? the black Mazda. I tell him no, my car is with my son. He asks me where I usually park my car and I point to my garage. Ah, he says, I guess the police will have to handle this one.
I watch a while through out my window. Watch as the scene calms down. Darkens as the floodlights from the fire truck are turned down and their equipment put away.
It's nearly 6am.