As I post this, I am in my apartment without LAPD's knowledge, and I intend to keep it that way and stay here. At just before 4 p.m. PDT, I was making my way to the bedroom, listening to my cat Attila munching on his food in the kitchen and smiling to myself. I hear a wooshing noise and, suddenly, all the shutter windows in my apartment blow open. A rocking sensation occurs and then I hear a loud—and I mean loud—explosion. Through my bedroom window, I see people running in both directions. Looking out, I first notice the heat. The entire top floor of the apartment building directly across the street from me is in flames. You know the time-dilation effect when you're going through an automobile accident? It was sort of like that. In my confusion, I looked around for Attila but couldn't see him anywhere. Next, I walked out the apartment and into the hallway. Two of my neighbors were in a frenzy. With them, I walked out the back door and marveled over the conflagration. The heat is what I noticed the most. People were screaming, "Is anybody in there?" Turns out there was. A rescue worker asked me if I could get a blanket, that she had a man in shock on the ground. So I went back inside to grab a blanket and to look for Attila. Fire engines started arriving at this time, and I began to panic about Attila. Then a loud rap on my door brings me face to face with two LAPD officers. The building is to be evacuated. "But I can't find my cat!" I told the taller officer. His companion—get this—asked if he could use my bathroom. Once done, he emerged and told me I could have two minutes and they'd be back. Still couldn't find Attila. Eventually, I was hustled a block south of my apartment building. Thing is, I didn't even know it was an aircraft until I saw a television report. Funny. I live across the street from the carnage, and it was thanks to KABC that I learned exactly what happened. The sky was festooned with helicopters—at least twelve that I could count. And the entire neighborhood was behind yellow police tape as far as I could see. So, here I am, an editor with a newspaper, and I find myself being interviewed by an AP wire reporter and two television crews. Humiliating. But what about my cat? Well, folks, how's this for chutpah: An upstairs neighbor of mine had managed to fool the police into believing that he was actually a reporter. I ran into him, about three hours after the accident, and he said I could get back to the apartment if I tagged along with him. (This occurred after I was interviewed by the KNBC reporter. I was embarrassed that I was wearing a T-shirt given to me by a friend—a Queensryche T-shirt. I appeared on TV wearing that stupid T-shirt.) Only the fire department was around as I stood there outside my building, gazing on the burnt-out husk of a building across from me. My neighbor suggested I take advantage of the LAPD's absence. And so here I am. I found Attila, too. As I write, he is still inside the living room closet. He's there for the night. All I can feel is relief. And what I know is this: The pilot of the aircraft, a single-engine Cessna, is dead. His plane was completely obliterated. Worse, at least one resident in the apartment building is dead. Tune into the news. This, I understand, has made the national feed. I can hear the Toshiba in my bedroom right now, though. Nothing this late is on the commercial network outlets. But I'm keeping all the lights off in the apartment. Only the illumination from the Toshiba and my iMac are lighting my way here. Don't want to be told to leave the apartment. Still a bit shaken. And the thing that still gets me, after all this time, is the heat from the fire across the street. Eyewitnesses said they could see the airplane trying to make its way toward Fairfax High School, apparently in an attempt to land on the football field. Instead the plane spiraled into that ugly green building across the street. Others heard the engine; I only heard the sound of rushing air, followed by the explosion. The 1992 civil unrest. The 1994 Northridge 'quake. And now this. I'll probably sleep on the floor next to where Attila is in the closet. I love L.A. I really do.