I was just sitting around feeling miserable about the achy state of my heart and my recent overwhelming home ant infestation when my neighbor Jay called out from his back porch:
"Sue, hey Sue."
I came out to see what he wanted and he pointed out a glowing red sky in the distance.
"You wanna go check it out?" I asked. Even though he was wearing his jammies, he said yes. Jay is a good sport that way.
We hopped in the Bluemobile and went looking for news. We had to drive around for a bit because the power was out downtown and it was dripping with blackness and we took a few twists and turns because everything looked so unfamiliar in the dark dark dark.
But eventually we found a hillside on fire, a downed power line, some firefighters and sheriffs, and a handful of onlookers. I dug my press pass out of the glove box and dragged Jay out of the car.
"Um, I'm in my PJs here," he said. I think he might have been a little high, too.
He was too late to stop me. I was already in girl reporter mode and started talking to people and found the guy who had discovered the fire. I scrawled some quotes on a folder I had found in my car because a notebook was nowhere to be found.
After a couple minutes, I decided that it wasn't that big of a deal and that Jay probably wanted to go home, so I brought him back and called the night editor with my quotes. Somebody else will get all the details from the fire department and write the story tomorrow.
I don't care that I'm not writing the story or that I won't get more than an "also contributed" at the bottom.
It just put me in such a better frame of mind. Me going out on a news story is like how a border collie must feel while herding sheep: doing what I am meant to do. All neurons firing. Happy.