1:30am. Why I am awake, and wearing shoes.
The house made a new noise this morning, just a few moments ago, which shot me out of bed and into the hall. Is my water heater failing? Is a plane crashing? Or is the intercom connected to my doorbell, whose speaker is outside my bedroom door, ON, playing static and hard rain?
In the mod’ren design of this intercom, it is “hands-free,” meaning that you press it once and it is open for about 30 seconds without having to hold it. As a one-armed maniac you might find this useful.
It shuts off.
At this point, I am now on the landing, staring out into the night, wondering whether someone could actually be at my door, but I am not going down to find out. I turn and see the digital clock radio in the living room is blinking. Oh, brown-out. They happen often here, in the town that thinks it has the infrastructure to return commuterrail service to Boston. I steel myself to come down another level, where I might be seen through the narrow window by the front door, and press the clock’s button to reset it. Except I didn’t push that button; I pushed a button I had never noticed before called “Sleep,” which turns the radio on, even though the switch is off, and now it won’t go off no matter where I turn the switch. Just creepy ominous classical music (to set the mood). I yank the cord out of the wall.
I have to make a bathroom stop, and once comfortably poised… the
Darkness. Static through the intercom. So this is how it ends, I think.
Throughout my home everything possessing an alarm sounds off, to tell me that the electricity is off. And that I am about to be slashed to ribbons.
I was the first to report the outage. This is the thrill one feels right before running for condo board trustee. I should have asked the friendly operator to stay on the line with me.
Because now I sit here choosing to use my battery power to write my final words rather than watch a DVD because the DVD I have is 6 Feet Under, and frankly, something’s got to give. I have put on my shoes because one must be ready to escape, and I have to stay in the living room to maximize my egresses, though I can easily be seen by Bad Ronald who is standing in the treeline, cupping his hand over his cigarette.
(That is not helping.)
I won’t light a candle because then you could fall asleep and burn the house down. And if you don’t know of my highly irrational fear of fire, then you have wandered here from outside the inner sphere.
I am wide awake wishing I had showered before bed because now I know I will be off my game in the morning. The mantel clock is an hour fast, but proudly ticking about it.
Hope to see you in the morning.