As I am typing away in the bartolina that is the ICU callroom I know that if the ICU catches fire I will get cremated in two seconds. The extreme cold would make me insensitive to any nearby flame, and the smoke I would obliviously sniff with delight. There are no secret panels, no teleportation machines, no hidden escape routes to the ambulance parking lot. A few years back I was living in 611 Nakpil with Jonafun, Coooooooooey, and Prometheus. My room was on the second floor, and my father noted in paranoia that I would get cremated in two seconds if the house caught fire.
“I set up an emergency fire escape plan!” he excitedly told me one day. I checked our window. There was a huge roll of very thick rope by the window sill, with one end tied to the metal window bar. There was a construction site helmet and a face mask. And at the end of the rope, a message written in pentel pen: Have No Fear! I know, too much Green Lantern.
I never did get to use the rope, but my dad was quite delighted with himself at this innovation. He likes these innovations. Even up to college my sister had the predilection to sleep walk, and when she started to go dorming in St. Scho she was afraid she would wake up in Taft Avenue. To solve this my father gave her a similar roll of rope. She would tie the rope around her waist and tie the other end to the bed. She would always be jarred awake by a yanking motion whenever she would start to sleepwalk, but she would never be mistaken for a dormitory white lady. Come to think of it my dad has this thing with ropes, basically because we have a hardware store specializing in ropes and fishnets. Good thing none of us is suicidal. Hee-hee, none of us.