About Alexandra Heep

About Alexandra Heep: The internet has allowed allowed Alexandra to maintain a semblance of life when encountering an unexpected, lingering health crisis. The Internet is a lifeline which not only allows her to remain connected to friends, but also survive, via writing.While Alexandra Heep is her pen name, she does not hide behind it. Instead, she used it to brand herself on the Internet and to create opportunities.

Alexandra published her first book, a collection of her best poems, on July 11, 2012. You can buy it at Lulu.com

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Sunday, May 1, 2011


If you don’t know me, let me briefly tell you that I recently moved and am living in an extended-stay hotel for the time being.  That’s me and my cat, in a one room efficiency on the second floor.  Oh, and I can’t lift things nor walk or stand for very long.  I have problems with my middle ear that regulates balance and my spine.

This morning, while I was still in my pajamas (I am a writer after all) the fire alarm went off.  I dialed the front desk, wondering if it was a fluke, but she said the alarm went off all over and that we all had to evacuate.

Now, if you have ever been under a fire alarm in any public place you know how loud they can be.  Now, picture yourself having a migraine or inner ear infection and standing right under it.  That is how it was.

Luckily, my cat Gracie did not hide under the bed completely, her head was sticking out.  First things first, I grabbed her and put her into the carrier.  Then, I put cotton in my ears to dim some of the noise.  Next, I grabbed my two purses, the one I keep for everyday use with the hotel key and my other purse with the spare key and stash of cash.  Turned off the laptop (hey, it’s my bread and butter) and got dressed.  Stuffed it in the bag with the adapter and tossed my cell phone with adaptor in the purse, and my flash drive that holds the work.

I should also say I have a neck brace that I have to wear whenever I want to carry something or pick up something that is about the weight of a grocery bag with average food.  I do not wear it in public – I get enough stares with the cane -  but vanity went out the window and I put it on.

Good enough, but still, how to get a fifteen pound metal carrier that now held an additional ten pound cat and myself down the stairs?  Well, I was not going to leave Gracie so I just prayed for the strength.  I exited, went down the two flights of stairs when I remembered I had left my cane in the room.  I left Gracie by the door downstairs, went back up, got my cane, and went back down.  All the while the shrill fire alarm in my ears, and by now the fire department had showed up.

I managed to get to the front desk and the lady told me I could leave the cat while I go outside, not even offering help with the carrier.  Well, I was not leaving Gracie with the alarm going off in her sensitive ears, so struggled through the front doors of the hotel, with everyone staring at the lady with cotton in her ears wearing a skirt (can’t find my pants), a cane, a neck brace, three bags, and a cat.

The fire alarm was still going.  I leaned up against the building, while a little girl came up to talk to Gracie.  From there, a man slowly walked up to me and admired Gracie.  He said he left his cat in the hotel room.  He had a very guilty look on his face.  I would say so, he probably took a look at me and wondered how the hell I had managed when he, a big strong, healthy male left his cat to possibly be burned to a crisp or die of smoke inhalation, or at the very least be terrified for life from the alarm.  He went back in, but they would not let him go up.

From there, I saw another female who had two cats and we started talking.  Who knew other people lived here with cats? One even had her terrified cat in her arms, without a carrier or leash, but at least she had the cat, unlike the male.

Finally they managed to shut off the alarm and gave clearance after about half an hour.  This time, another lady (sans cat) offered her help to bring Gracie back up and I accepted gratefully.  There were many capable men standing around I might add.  We all parted way for the lady running past us with her cat clawing her to pieces and let her go first.

Firstly, thank you Glory and Tom for leaving me the carrier, you know who you are.  Secondly, I managed yet another milestone on this journey to … where, I don’t know.  Yet, I am grateful to still have everything that I do have.


Conny said...

I'm all too familiar with fire alarms Alex, but thankfully they've all been false alarms.
How wonderful that you were able to keep a cool head and take all that's valuable with you, starting with Gracie and ending with a flash drive. i know it must have been one hell of a job lugging everything downstairs.
That man should be ashamed of himself, leaving his cat behind. Bad karma for him.
Thank God everything turned out alright. Now you've proven that you can take care of yourself and others. Good karma for you girl.

Diane said...

Reading this episode I was reminded of that saying, "God only gives us the load he knows we can handle," (you know what I mean.) Yet I can't help but wonder how much more you are meant to carry.

On the plus side, you met neighbors with cats of their own. It would be nice if you could become friendly with the woman who helped you.

I can only sigh with disgust thinking about the men who stood around and watched you struggle. Yes, Conny is right, very bad Karma for them. Sure hope that you and Gracie are resting comfortably now after such a stressful ordeal.

Alexandra Heep said...

Haha I wonder the same thing. Gracie is resting on her pillow, after some pacing and meowing. Don't blame her of course.

I am so exhausted I just want to crawl under the covers and sleep. Alas, I must write. Why I keep that up I don't know because I am unable to bring in enough. But, I can't just sit here and let it all consume me either.

The lady with the two cats sounds interesting, I gave her my name and room number and I got hers. Hopefully this won't be another one of those who says things and then forgets. She had invited me to an event, but I had to decline because it was where she was going immediately after the fire alarm.